USADA requests Armstrong's suit dismissed

EDDIE PELLS
Last updated 09:45 21/07/2012

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The US Anti-Doping Agency filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss Lance Armstrong's federal lawsuit seeking to prevent the drug-fighting organisation from pursuing doping charges against him.

The motion, filed on Thursday in Austin, Texas, cites the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, which gives USADA jurisdiction over athletes who compete in Olympic sports.

It also includes a 2005 affidavit from USADA CEO Travis Tygart stating that Armstrong took part in USADA's testing program and was under its jurisdiction - the opposite claim Armstrong is making in the current case.

The affidavit helped bolster Armstrong's claims in a lawsuit against SCA Promotions, which refused to pay bonus money to the Tour de France winner because of allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs.

That affidavit also states that Armstrong passed 12 doping tests.

Armstrong claims he has never tested positive. USADA's current case against him, which could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, is a ''non-analytical'' case - based on evidence other than positive doping tests.

In a statement sent out early Friday, Armstrong's attorney, Robert Luskin, said ''USADA's motion is wrong on the law, and we will respond.''

''The motion confirms the salient point that Mr Armstrong has passed every drug test administered by USADA itself in its anytime, anywhere 24-7-365 program, which it swore was the most stringent testing program in the world,'' Luskin said.

Tygart released a statement late Thursday discussing the motion to dismiss and restating some of what he has said in response to Armstrong's claims that USADA is unfairly targeting him.

''Were we not to bring this case, we would be complicit in covering up evidence of doping, and failing to do our job on behalf of those we are charged with protecting,'' Tygart said.

On July 9, Armstrong filed - and a judge quickly threw out - a lawsuit seeking to stop USADA from pursuing its case.

Armstrong's attorneys called the USADA hearing procedure a ''kangaroo court'' and said the USADA filing was 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.''

In dismissing the case, the judge criticized Armstrong for grandstanding and using it as a publicity stunt; Armstrong's attorneys responded by refiling a shorter version of the same lawsuit.

Meanwhile, USADA has granted Armstrong an extension - to Aug. 13 - to decide whether he wants to take the charges to arbitration, the next step in the anti-doping adjudication process that Armstrong is trying to avoid with the lawsuit.

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The USADA motion to dismiss includes 30 entries detailing what it says are ''unsupported factual statements'' in the Armstrong lawsuit.

- AP

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