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Agency calls for single CAS hearing for resolution
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has filed a reply brief to the United States District Court in Austin, Texas following Lance Armstrong's and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) claims that he is not bound by the Agency and therefore cannot be charged with doping offences.
The Agency also offers its preferred method of arbitration in the form of a single Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing and details its dealing with Floyd Landis.
This latest round of paperwork comes ahead of Friday's hearing before Judge Sam Sparks.
According to USADA lawyers, the "basic premise" of Armstrong's argument "is false", that:
• USADA does not have the right to charge and sanction Armstrong and strip him of his titles;
• USADA does not have the right to force Armstrong to arbitrate those charges without a valid, enforceable legal agreement to do so;
• and Armstrong contends USADA's activity also violates his constitutional rights and tortiously interferes with his contract with Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body with which he has an agreement.
USADA also cites a Sporza interview whereby UCI President Pat McQuaid told the Belgian outlet that the governing body was steering clear of any involvement.
"The position of UCI is that we're not involved in this, and it's a USADA investigation,'' McQuaid said. "They're doing all the process in the United States. It's nothing to do with UCI, and we'll wait and see what the eventual outcome is."
The sentiment was reiterated in a Cyclingnews interview the same day.
"I've read what they've said but as they're not licence holders so I don't know how they can ban them or what they can be banned for," McQuaid told Cyclingnews in reference to the lifetime bans handed down to Celaye, Del Moral, Ferrari and Marti.
"I don't want to comment. The UCI has already said that we're not involved in this investigation and our last press release we said we would not comment. So don't ask me. If you want to talk about it ask USADA, not me."
Details have also been revealed regarding evidence obtained from Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis. Armstrong's lawyers say that because Landis sent an email containing allegations of "certain acts in violation of anti-doping rules by various cyclists and others" to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson, such evidence would fall under the UCI's jurisdiction. Today, USADA has clarified that they "discovered the facts contained in the April 30 Landis email long before that email was sent," and rubbishes the UCI's "discovery" claim.
"I can share with you that a USADA representative met with an individual close to Mr. Landis (an individual who has incidentally never been a UCI license holder or official) weeks before the April 30 email was sent and in that meeting USADA received much of the same information from this intermediary that was subsequently contained in the email," writes USAD General Counsel William Bock in an 11-page letter to McQuaid dated August 8. "USADA also met with Mr. Landis about ten days before the email was sent. Before the email was sent USADA had met with several others with relevant information.
"Of course, the UCI is unaware of these meetings because the UCI has never met with Mr. Landis or any of USADA's many other witnesses concerning their observations and the UCI has apparently never conducted even the beginning of an investigation regarding Mr. Landis's evidence or the evidence from any other cyclist on the U.S. Postal Service Cycling team at any time."
USADA opposed to facing CAS over results management authority
In McQuaid's recent letter to USADA, the cycling boss suggested that the CAS decide who has jurisdiction over test results, in this case being used as evidence against Armstrong, and therefore if USADA case was unjust.
USADA argues there would be "little sense" to such proceedings saying that "it would multiply the proceedings, increase the expense of this case and delay its final outcome." Also that due to the fact that Armstrong would not be involved in the arbitration, he could "disagree with the outcome" and the proceedings would have essentially been for nothing.
Where all three parties do agree however, is that the CAS should arbitrate the case.
"Accordingly, USADA proposes that it is willing to agree to a single, final and binding CAS hearing with Mr. Armstrong under U.S. law and the USADA Protocol and held in the U.S. but with international CAS arbitrators in which the issues would be whether Mr. Armstrong committed anti-doping rule violations and, if so, the appropriate sanctions. If the parties are truly interested in an efficient, fair and just result based on the evidence, as USADA is, then this proposal would immediately place the case in the hands of neutral CAS arbitrators who could quickly decide it."