Lance Armstrong Sues To Block U.S. Anti-Doping Hearing
Lance Armstrong has asked a federal court for an injunction against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has formally charged Armstrong of taking performance enhancing drugs.
The Washington Post reports that in an 80-page complaint filed in Austin, Armstrong "alleges that USADA and CEO Travis Tygart don't have the jurisdiction to attempt to charge him with being a central player in a massive sports doping conspiracy, yet have done so while violating his constitutional rights, breaking the organization's own rules and possibly breaking federal laws."
When the USADA charged Armstrong, they said he had 10 days to decide whether he would fight the charges or accept guilt and be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
In the complaint (.doc), Armstrong asks the federal court to put that deadline on hold while it weighs the merits of his lawsuit.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the USADA had lined up several of Armstrong's former teammates to testify against him. Among them is George Hicapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie.
Hincapie, who rode with Armstrong for all his seven Tour de France wins, gave an interview to 60 Minutes last year in which he made doping allegations. Hincapie said he saw EPO, a performance enhancing drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells, in Armstrong's refrigerator and "saw him inject it more than one time."
USA Today reports that Armstrong said the USADA process is unfair and called the process a "kangaroo court." The paper also talked to Tygart, of the USADA. They report:
"Tygart said Armstrong's lawsuit is 'aimed at concealing the truth' and predicted a judge will rule in the agency's favor.
"'USADA was built by athletes on the principles of fairness and integrity,' he said in a statement received by USA TODAY Sports. '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.'"
"USADA, created in 2000 and recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States, formally charged Armstrong in June with taking performance-enhancing drugs and participating in a vast doping conspiracy on his Tour de France winning teams, some of which were sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service."