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Lawsuit says if buyers had known work based on lies, they wouldn't have bought it... or if they did, they'd have enjoyed it less...

A class action lawsuit has been launched in California by people who purchased Lance Armstrong’s best selling autobiography, It’s Not About The Bike, co-written with Sally Jenkins. The action also mentions its sequel, Every Second Counts.

One of the people bringing the action is Sacramento resident Rob Stutzman, a former deputy chief of staff for ex-Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, reports CNN. Joining himp is a chef, Jonathan Wheeler.

The lawsuit which has been filed in a federal court in the state this week alleges that the disgraced cyclist and his publishers engaged in fraud and false advertising.

"Throughout the book, Defendant Armstrong repeatedly denies that he ever used banned substances before or during his professional cycling career," it says.

Stutzman and Wheeler, it continues, purchased Armstrong’s books "based upon the false belief that they were true and honest works of nonfiction when, in fact, Defendants knew or should have known that these books were works of fiction."

There is no mention in the lawsuit of exactly how much compensation the pair are seeking, although it does seek “any statutorily permissible damages, attorneys' fees, expenses and costs."

According to the papers filed with the court, Stutzman, who says he was inspired by the tale of the cancer survivor who conquered the Tour de France, even met Armstrong on one occasion.

"At that time, Stutzman thanked Defendant Armstrong for writing his book and told him it was very inspiring and that he recommended it to friends who were fighting cancer. In response, Armstrong thanked Stutzman."

Stutzman and Wheeler claim in their lawsuit that had they known that It’s Not About The Bike was based on falsehoods, they wouldn’t have purchased it – or, at least, they would have got less enjoyment from reading it.”

The book currently has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.co.uk, although some of the recent reviews are less than flattering.

One, made last October by Graham Pierce, awards it 1 star under the heading: “It's not about the bike....it's about the EPO, cortisone, actovegin, testosterone and blood doping.”

He concludes his review: “Mind you, it's a groundbreaking employment of the unreliable narrator in a biography.”
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

21 comments

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 3 years ago
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I once thought about thinking that I might want to think about buying that book. I demand my day in court and some money from him......Just another PR stunt.

The best review on Amazon so far has to be this

A truly remarkable debut novel by someone whose previous background would not have suggested such talent. It is humbling to think of him sat up all night creating this fantastic tale for us all as he waited for the drugs to wear off so he might sleep............. It really isn't about the bike is it Lance?.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm all for kicking Armstrong while he is down (at least for as long as he holds back from telling the whole story, and until he makes good the damage he has done to those who told the truth.) But surely the claimants would only have a case if they can prove that "It’s Not About The Bike" was actually about a bike?

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Dr. Ko [174 posts] 3 years ago
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Taking the hero and his bikel. Now it turns out the hero is fake, the bike should be the hero! Coming to think about it, maybe the bike was fake as well. Maybe it wasn't a Trek after all. A Lightspeed as an Eddy Merckx (Ref. Bike!, p. 175), maybe a LeMond as a Trek?  4

My "favourite" book : The Playboy Interviews.

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/09/book-review-playboy-issue.html

Bought this book with high hopes  8 instead I got LA, O.J.Simpson and others  12 and not a single picture. I also want my money back.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 3 years ago
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I've a copy of the book. How do I get my money back?

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Ghedebrav [1099 posts] 3 years ago
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Not sure this has any merit TBH. I've never been an Armstrong fan, always suspected he (and 'most everyone else) was doping but still the vitriol is starting to get a bit weird now. Lets put the pitchforks away and move on to better things.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I decided that Lance was a wrong 'un from reading this book  16 I will keep my copy... the c**t can keep the money  19

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Wooliferkins [50 posts] 3 years ago
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You'd think, with all that sunshine in California, they'd get out more?

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bikecellar [268 posts] 3 years ago
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As I read this, both those books are on the floor right behind me supporting the fan at an angle in front of my turbo trainer, I can remember thinking what a nasty prick this guy is, when I read them, it's all very sad, he would have been a great rider without the cheating and bullying, but he "did it his way"

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Pitstone Peddler [104 posts] 3 years ago
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If as and when cycling racing is clean, someone is going to write a book about this whole sorry period and could quite rightly call it "Its Not About the Bike". The authors biggest problem would be working out exactly when in cycle racings history to begin his/her work. Armstrong is the icing on the cake and hopefully the curtain closer too.

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Roberj4 [217 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm off down the small claims court see if I can get my money back

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 3 years ago
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It does make you think lying was just a daily routine for LA...mind you give me $100mill and Id prob tell a few porkies...

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kevinscruggs [8 posts] 3 years ago
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Now thats funny man.  4

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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SideBurn wrote:

I decided that Lance was a wrong 'un from reading this book  16 I will keep my copy... the c**t can keep the money  19

I couldn't agree more. Even with the help of a ghostwriter he still comes across as a borderline psychotic.

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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Errrm, how much will the plaintifs get back if they win - a fiver.

Personally I liked the spoof sign that appeared in an Australian library recently stating that they'd moved all the LA books from non-fiction to the fiction section: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21115720

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I am pleased that others thought the same as me (bikecellar & The Rumpo Kid) most people I talk to say the book was great, inspirational etc. I thought c**t. I am not even sure why! I can accept that you have to be hard, committed, single minded, selfish even to succeed in a sport like cycling and this means you will upset people but  39 I will probably read it again, and enjoy it more knowing he is a cheat  39 Does that mean I have to pay more money  13

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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I wonder how many copies Amazon have got to shift ?

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Jerm [39 posts] 3 years ago
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I agree that when I read it I thought that he wasn't a particularly likeable character. I don't think he ever painted himself as one. I wonder how many of them are given how single minded you have to be to compete at that level. I remember watching those programmes with James Cracknell going to the pole and thinking the same about him. To be the sort of person who competes at that level, drugs or no drugs, you have to be prepared to make it more important than everything else it seems. Most people aren't prepared to do that.

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comm88 [76 posts] 3 years ago
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LOUSE Armstrong!!!

Enuff said!!

I gave my books to Oxfam - though they are unlikely to shift em, ever - I put the DVDs in the trash.

The guy is a complete and utter shite bag.

Everything he has ever done should be expunged from the records and he should be forgotten, completely, as the biggest sporting fraud ever - which is exactly what he is.

Maybe him and that stupid tw*t Phil Liggett should start a Save The Louse fund????

Good company for each other - one's a complete idiot, the other's a hopeless liar.

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Percespb [24 posts] 3 years ago
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So after two tv shows are we really any nearer to knowing the truth?
Ok, he doped but there is a lot he didn't say.
If the movie happens what story are they going to tell?
Possibly a poison chalice to the actor who plays him. Who would want to see it? Could be a massive flop.

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Percespb [24 posts] 3 years ago
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SideBurn wrote:

I am pleased that others thought the same as me (bikecellar & The Rumpo Kid) most people I talk to say the book was great, inspirational etc. I thought c**t. I am not even sure why! I can accept that you have to be hard, committed, single minded, selfish even to succeed in a sport like cycling and this means you will upset people but  39 I will probably read it again, and enjoy it more knowing he is a cheat  39 Does that mean I have to pay more money  13

Sideburns - You'll find copies at the library, I'm sure

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BearstedCC [80 posts] 3 years ago
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Lance Armstrong has lied to us so much,
I'm starting to doubt whether he ever
landed on the moon at all...  36