Lance Armstrong Files Revised Suit Against Doping Agency
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong filed a revised complaint against the U.S. Anti- Doping Agency after a federal judge dismissed an earlier lawsuit for including irrelevant information.
Armstrong is seeking to block the organization from stripping him of his cycling titles and imposing a lifetime ban from the sport, according to an amended complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Austin, Texas.
The filing is 55 pages shorter than the original 80-page complaint that U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks threw out July 9, saying it contained irrelevant material that was presumably included to “incite public opinion” against the anti-doping agency.
Armstrong, who retired from cycling and is now a triathlete, must initiate arbitration with the organization by July 14, or it will impose sanctions that will ban him from participating in elite competitive sports and strip him his Tour de France titles, according to the court filing.
Armstrong, 40, is accused by the anti-doping agency of using banned drugs and plotting the use of such substances by his teammates. He has denied ever using drugs or aiding in their use. The anti-doping agency said yesterday that two doctors and a trainer who worked with Armstrong and his cycling teams were banned for life.
The organization said in a statement yesterday that Armstrong’s complaint is without merit.
“We are confident the courts will continue to uphold the established rules which provide full constitutional due process and are designed to protect the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport,” it said.
In February, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles ended a criminal drug probe involving Armstrong and his professional bicycle racing team without filing charges. That investigation focused on whether the team may have defrauded sponsors by breaking the rules, rather than actual drug use.
Armstrong said the anti-doping agency doesn’t have the right to sanction him or force him into arbitration. The arbitration “is certain to result in an adverse decision,” his lawyers said in court papers.
“Defendants have undertaken to ban Mr. Armstrong from competition for life, disqualify his competitive results, seize his medals and prizes, and impose upon him costs and fines, without according due process to Mr. Armstrong,” they said.
The case is Armstrong v. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, 12-00606, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (Austin).