Judge Dismisses Lance Armstrong Lawsuit vs. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
A federal judge in Austin, Texas, threw out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Monday, a decision that allows the agency's drug case against the seven-time Tour de France winner to move ahead.
determination to force Armstrong to arbitrate the charges against him, in direct conflict with UCI's equally evident desire not to proceed against him."
"Unfortunately, the appearance of conflict on the part of both organizations creates doubt the charges against Armstrong would receive fair consideration in either forum," Sparks said. "The issue is further complicated by USA Cycling's late-breaking show of support for UCI, and apparent opposition to USADA's proceeding -- a wrinkle which does not change the court's legal analysis, but only confirms that these matters should be resolved internally, by the parties most affected, rather than by edict of this court."
Sparks had no desire to intervene in the fight between cycling and drug-testing authorities in a case that cites offenses going back 14 years.
"As mystifying as USADA's election to proceed at this date and in this manner may be, it is equally perplexing that these three national and international bodies are apparently unable to work together to accomplish their shared goal -- the regulation and promotion of cycling," Sparks said. "However, if these bodies wish to damage the image of their sport through bitter infighting, they will have to do so without the involvement of the United States courts."
USADA says Armstrong took steroids and blood boosters to win the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005. Penalties could include a lifetime ban from cycling and loss of his titles. USADA has said former teammates of Armstrong will testify that his teams had a long-running doping program.
"The rules in place have protected the rights of athletes for over a decade in every case USADA has adjudicated," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement, "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."