Update: July 11, 2012 — Attorneys for Lance Armstrong refiled an edited version of the federal suit against USADA that was rejected by the judge. The suit claims:
– USADA doesn’t have the right to charge Armstrong;
– USADA doesn’t have the right to force Armstrong to arbitration;
– USADA violates his constitutional rights and violates his contract with Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body of cycling.
July 10, 2012 — Lance Armstrong’s lawsuit to block the doping charges brought by the US Anti-Doping Agency was dismissed by a federal judge in Austin, Texas, on Monday.
US District Court Judge Sam Sparks said the lawsuit contains
” ‘allegations’ that are wholly irrelevant to Armstrong’s claims and which, the Court must presume, were included solely to increase media coverage of this case, and to incite public opinion against Defendants.”
He did not rule on Armstrong’s claims; he dismissed the suit because it didn’t comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Armstrong’s lawyers can resubmit an edited version of the lawsuit within 20 days.
The New York Times reports that Armstrong has until Saturday to decide whether to accept the USADA’s sanctions or to appeal their decision to a three-person panel.
Armstrong has called the USADA a “kangaroo court” that’s out to get him. He doesn’t like that appeal panel either, saying it always rules in USADA’s favor.
He says the arbitration panel is set up to deal with athletes who have failed doping tests. Armstrong reiterates that he has never failed a doping test. He would prefer the case go to the Union Cycliste Internationale, which oversees cycling.
The charges grew out of an US Justice Department investigation into possible fraud charges related to Armstrong alleged doping and his teams US Postal Service and Discovery Channel. He won 7 Tours de France while a member of those teams.
When the justice department decided not to bring criminal charges, the USADA used the evidence gathered to bring its own doping charges. Those charges aren’t criminal, but could lead to a competition ban and loss of his championships.
Although Armstrong retired from pro cycling for the second time in 2010, his presence is still felt at the Tour de France.
It was reported last week that three former Armstrong teammates — George Hincapie (BMC), Levi Leipheimer (Omega), Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie (Garmin) — had agreed to testify against Armstrong.
All refused to talk about it or confirm or deny the reports. Even so, the doping news was a big distraction from the cycling results on the road. More at the New York Times.