False Start for Lance Armstrong as Suit Against USADA is Dismissed
On July 9, 2012, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed without prejudice an attempt by professional cyclist Lance Armstrong to block the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from investigating charges of blood “doping” that could take away his seven Tour de France victories.
Armstrong’s suit asserted that the USADA did not have the jurisdiction to bring charges against him, that the agency’s international arbitration process was a sham, and that the result of the arbitration was preordained against him.
The USADA acts as the regulator to prevent doping activities in athletes who compete in Olympic sports. It can bring charges against athletes, suspend them, impose sanctions, or even ban them from competitions. It claims it has witnesses and blood samples to support the allegations against Armstrong.
Armstrong has repeatedly maintained his innocence, noting that he has undergone nearly 500-600 drug tests during the course of his career, among the most recorded for any athlete. At one point, even the U.S. Department of Justice had conducted a two-year investigation into Armstrong’s alleged doping, but charges were never pursued.
The order written by Judge Sparks accused Armstrong of ignoring federal pleading guidelines for “short, clear statements of fact” by filing an 80-page complaint replete with irrelevant allegations that he believed were simply intended to provide Armstrong with increased media coverage and public support. Armstrong’s attorneys were given 20 days to re-file a proper complaint.