Readers sue Armstrong and US publishers

Two US book buyers are suing cyclist Lance Armstrong and his publishers Random House US and Penguin Group USA over claims they presented fiction as autobiography. The development follows Armstrong's confession that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles. 

The California duo, Rob Stutzman and Jonathan Wheeler, filed a complaint on 22nd January in federal court in Sacramento saying that they would not have bought It's Not About the Bike or Every Second Counts had they known the truth. The plaintiffs said: "Both books have now been exposed as frauds."

Stutzman and Wheeler are seeking to represent other California buyers of Armstrong's books to recover unspecified damages against Armstrong and Penguin Group USA, the publisher of It's Not About the Bike, and against Random House, the publisher of Every Second Counts. They accuse Armstrong and the publishers of marketing the books as “true and honest” works of nonfiction.

Random House US spokesman Stuart Applebaum declined to comment on the Bloomberg story; Penguin US spokeswoman Erica Glass did not immediately return a call from the reporter.