AUSTIN, Texas (VN) — Lance Armstrong has suffered another setback in his legal battle to get the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency off his case.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has dismissed Armstrong’s lawsuit against USADA, allowing the agency’s doping case against the seven-time winner of the Tour de France to continue.
In his ruling, Sparks wrote that despite what he termed USADA’s “woefully inadequate charging letter,” Armstrong’s challenges regarding due process “are without merit” and were dismissed without prejudice “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
The ruling stated further that Armstrong’s remaining claims “are best resolved through the well-established system of international arbitration, by those with expertise in the field, rather than by the unilateral edict of a single nation’s courts; the Court thus declines to grant equitable relief on Armstrong’s remaining claims on this alternative basis.”
Armstrong has the options of appealing in federal court, proceeding with arbitration or accepting USADA’s sanctions for what the agency has called “a doping conspiracy” involving the former pro cyclist and associates at his former U.S. Postal Service team.
He could receive a lifetime ban and lose all of his Tour titles.
“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,” said USADA CEO Travis Tygart following Sparks’ decision.
“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 has repeatedly denied doping and went to court over what his attorneys called USADA’s lack of jurisdiction and a violation of his constitutional rights.
Tim Herman, a lawyer for Armstrong, issued a statement saying: “We are reviewing the court’s lengthy opinion and considering Mr. Armstrong’s options at this point.”