Judge sides with USADA in Armstrong suit

Texas district court judge Sam Sparks has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lance Armstrong's attorneys against the US Anti-Doping Agency on Monday.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart was pleased with the outcome.

“We are pleased that the federal court in Austin, Texas has dismissed Lance Armstrong’s lawsuit and upheld the established rules which provide Congressionally mandated due process for all athletes.

"The rules in place have protected the rights of athletes for over a decade in every case USADA has adjudicated and we look forward to a timely, public arbitration hearing in this case, should Mr. Armstrong choose, where the evidence can be presented, witness testimony will be given under oath and subject to cross examination, and an independent panel of arbitrators will determine the outcome of the case.”

Armstrong's suit was aimed at blocking USADA from pursuing anti-doping rule violation charges against Armstrong. In June, USADA notified Armstrong and five others of the violation, which included allegations of doping with EPO, blood transfusion and other performance enhancing drugs and methods, as well as trafficking, administration of banned drugs, and conspiracy to cover up doping during his time at the US Postal Service team.

Armstrong's attorneys filed the suit in Texas arguing that USADA's procedures were a violation of his constitutional right to due process, and also contended that USADA did not have jurisdiction over the case. They and the UCI claimed that the case belonged in the hands of the sport's governing body because the UCI collected the blood passport samples that USADA used to back up its claims to its review board earlier this year.

USADA filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating that these claims were untrue, citing the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, which states that the body which discovers the anti-doping rule violation has jurisdiction to pursue a penalty.

The judge chose to dismiss the case because "Armstrong's due process claims lack merit" and "the Court lacks jurisdiction over Armstrong's remaining claims, or alternatively declines to grant equitable relief on those claims".

Armstrong now has until August 23 to either accept a lifetime ban and the loss of all results during the period of USADA's claims, which encompass most of his professional career including his Tour de France victories, or take the case to arbitration where all witness testimony and other evidence will be aired publicly.

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Laura Weislo
Managing Editor

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Managing Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks. Laura's specialises in covering doping, anti-doping, UCI governance and performing data analysis.