COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (VN) — USA Cycling has reportedly told a U.S. District Court judge that it must accept the Union Cycliste Internationale’s jurisdiction in a dispute over the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into what the agency has called “a doping conspiracy” at Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service team.
According to press reports, Armstrong’s attorneys included in papers submitted to Judge Sam Sparks a letter that says the UCI has the power “to express its interpretation” of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s anti-doping code. Stephen Hess, an attorney for USA Cycling, wrote that the national governing body ”is bound by (UCI’s) interpretation in matters involving international doping control.”
USADA also filed a letter on Friday with the U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, reiterating arguments in support of its own claim to jurisdiction and noting further that WADA, “the organization charged with monitoring international compliance with the (World Anti-Doping) Code, has determined USADA has results management authority in this case because USADA discovered the alleged anti-doping rule violations.”
In a statement, CEO Travis Tygart added that since WADA has announced that USADA has jurisdiction, “as the rules adopted by both the UCI and USADA provide … UCI’s attempt to control the outcome through pressuring USA Cycling is tellingly sad and is further evidence why USADA as an independent national anti-doping agency that exists solely to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport is the proper body to handle the case.”
In June, USADA filed formal doping charges against Armstrong and several associates. Armstrong went to court over the matter, seeking a restraining order on the grounds that USADA’s rules violate his constitutional right to due process and that the agency lacked jurisdiction in the matter.
UCI then stepped in, claiming that it had jurisdiction in the case and demanding a review of USADA’s evidence by an independent panel prior to any arbitration hearings or sanctions.