SYDNEY, Australia — Five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe has decided to pursue legal proceedings against a French newspaper and journalist he alleges defamed him by publishing claims he used performance-enhancing drugs.

A story written by Damien Ressiot and published by the daily sports newspaper L'Equipe in March 2007 reported that Thorpe gave a urine sample in 2006 that showed abnormal levels of testosterone. The report also said the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority knew of the results but chose not to proceed because of a lack of evidence.

In June, Thorpe completed an "issue of intention" in the New South Wales Supreme Court to keep the case active.

On Monday, the court in Sydney set a date of Sept. 22 for lawyers on both sides to meet. Thorpe's lawyer, Tony O'Reilly, said Thorpe wanted to repair the damage done to his reputation by the claims.

In August 2007, ASADA cleared Thorpe, who retired in December 2006, and said there was no evidence to support the allegation he used performance-enhancing drugs. FINA, swimming's world governing body, made similar findings.

Besides his Olympic titles, Thorpe won 11 world championships and set 13 world records.