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Armstrong's suit dismissed, USADA to proceed

Published August 20, 2012

AUSTIN, TX (BRAIN)A federal court in Texas has dismissed Lance Armstrong's lawsuit that challenged the U.S. Anti-doping Agency's jurisdiction in charging Armstrong with doping.

USADA can now proceed with its case. Armstrong can accept the charges from USADA or choose a public arbitration hearing.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted USADA's motion to dismiss Armstrong's case, finding that USADA did have jurisdiction and that Armstrong would have ample opportunity to defend himself in an arbitration hearing, and if necessary, to appeal to the Court for Arbitration for Sport and then to the Swiss court system.

Sparks wrote in the same plain-spoken style he used when in July he rejected Armstrong's first complaint, saying it read more like a press release than a legal claim. This time he expressed skepticism about USADA's case and the involvement of the UCI, which has tried to take over the Armstrong case from USADA.

"The events in USADA's charging letter date back fourteen years, span a multitude of international competitions, and involve not only five non-citizens of the United States who were never licensed in this country, but also one of the most well-known figures in the history of cycling," Sparks wrote.

"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. 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 accepted the decision as a victory.

“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,' USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement Monday.

"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, who has denied ever doping, did not immediately release a comment on the court's decision.

Related: The court decision (pdf file)

Topics associated with this article: Racing & Sponsorship

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