Lance to toast cancer anniversary

ore than the day of any of his six Tour de France victories, October 2 1996 is the date which chang

ore than the day of any of his six Tour de France victories, October 2 1996 is the date which chang
Lance Armstrong is to celebrate the eighth anniversary of his diagnosis with testicular cancer with a party on October 2, it has been announced. According to reports in Italy, the six-time Tour de France winner will invite friends, family and no doubt a generous smattering of celebrities to the event, to coincide with the cycling world championships in Verona. US Postal team riders not chasing gold in Verona, plus team directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel, will also attend. Armstrong's miraculous recovery from cancer is the inspiration for the Live Strong bracelets which, according to reports in the United States, have become the summer's must-have fashion accessory in American high schools. Over 11 million of the one-dollar bracelets have so far been sold, the proceeds going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) cancer charity. So coveted have the bracelets become that the LAF website has urged punters not to look to unauthorised dealers to overcome a three-week order backlog. Live Strong bracelets on Ebay are currently fetching around $30. Needless to say, this revenue goes to speculative individual dealers, rather than the cancer researchers for whom it is intended. In related news, it has been confirmed that Armstrong has lodged court proceedings for defamation of character against the co-authors of the book L.A. Confidentiel, David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, and publishing company Editions La Martinire. Also in the firing line is French magazine L'Express, which printed excerpts of the book when it was published two-and-a-half months ago. According to the magazine's lawyer, Michel Zaoui, Armstrong is demanding damages of two million euros. A preliminary court date has been set for December 1, 2004. Ex-US Postal soigneur Emma O'Reilly, whose insider accounts form the basis of the book's most damning passages, is also being sued. She faces a charge of complicity. Her hearing is scheduled for December 9.
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