Press Gazette Awards Swept by Times and Sunday Times

Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh claimed a double win at the first British Journalism Awards (BJA) tonight, picking up both the Sports Journalist of the Year and Journalist of the Year prizes

Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh claimed a double win at the first British Journalism Awards (BJA) tonight, picking up both the Sports Journalist of the Year and Journalist of the Year prizes.

Judges praised Walsh for his 13-year investigation into Lance Armstrong, which exposed the cyclist as a drugs cheat and led to him being stripped of his seven Tour De France victories.

The judges said: “David Walsh became a pariah for years in his chosen sport in order to get to the truth of this story.

“He pursued it and pursued it.The US Anti-Doping Agency would never have taken Armstrong on if it hadn’t been for David Walsh.

“It was a fine example of great investigative journalism.”

On presenting the Journalist of the Year award to Walsh, the judges said: “This year will go down in history as one of the greatest ever for British sport.

“So the judges thought it was particularly fitting that the pre-eminent candidate for overall journalist of the year was a sports journalist.

“David Walsh’s investigation into doping by Lance Armstrong was great news story, not just a great story, it was huge.”

They added: “His 13-year investigation was dogged, determined and brave. He could have lost everything but persisted against the odds.”

Click here to read our October interview with Walsh.

The awards also recognised Walsh’s former Sunday Times colleague, foreign correspondent Marie Colvin, who was killed while reporting in Syria in February.

BJA judges unanimously decided that Colvin deserved a special award for being a reporter who did “more than any other to inspire journalists, young and old”.

Sister title The Times also had two winners, with Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger winning Investigation of the Year for their work on tax avoidance.

The investigation was judged to be “both interesting to the public and in the public interest”.

The judges said: “This was a brave and determined investigation which exposed high profile rich figures who were effectively stealing from the poor.”

Read the full list of winners at pressgazette.co.uk