x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Lance Armstrong fails in injunction bid against US Anti-Doping Agency

The former Tour de France winner is told by a judge his initial lawsuit is a PR exercise - but is invited to bring another against the drug-testing body over their doping allegations.

Lance Armstrong has been told he can resubmit his lawsuit against the USADA before the end of the month
Lance Armstrong has been told he can resubmit his lawsuit against the USADA before the end of the month

Lance Armstrong's bid to bring a lawsuit against the US Anti-Doping Agency over their latest allegations against him has been dismissed - but the seven-time Tour de France winner has been told he can refile it within 20 days.

US District Judge Sam Sparks criticised Armstrong's lawyers for the 80-page lawsuit, describing it as a PR move rather than a challenge to the drug-testing body.

But Sparks also said that he was not ruling on the merits of the lawsuit and that the US cycling legend was welcome to present it again with modifications.

He advised Armstrong's lawyers to "omit any improper argument, rhetoric, or irrelevant material" in any future filing.

Armstrong's Austin-based lawyer Tim Herman said the lawsuit would be refiled by Wednesday at the latest.

"We will refile in a format that conforms to what Judge Sparks wants," Herman told the Washington Post.

Armstrong has until Saturday to accept sanctions or challenge the USADA's charges through arbitration.

Instead, Armstrong hoped to turn the entire system on its head, questioning USADA's jurisdiction and the legitimacy of its rules.

Armstrong's legal move, coming in the US cycling legend's hometown, claimed USADA procedures violate of his US constitutional right to a fair trial.

The former champion cyclist, who has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs, also claims that USADA chief executive Travis Tygart is pursuing a personal vendetta against him.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France from 1999 through 2006 and has since retired from cycling, could be stripped of his Tour de France triumphs and banned from the sport for life over the charges.

"It is a testament to USADA's brazenness and callous disregard for its own mission that it seeks to strip Mr. Armstrong of his life's work," Armstrong's attorneys said in the lawsuit.

Armstrong wanted Sparks to issue an injunction banning USADA from pushing its case to an arbitration hearing, the next step in a process that could lead to the case being settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Armstrong's lawyers called USADA's hearing procedure a "kangaroo court" and said that Armstrong would not be able to launch a proper defence against the charges under USADA rules and would face irreversible harm if USADA proceeds.

Tygart, in a statement, said Armstrong's lawsuit is part of a bid to hide the truth about his misdeeds.

"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," Tygart said.


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