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Lance Armstrong looks to block doping charges with lawsuit

July 09, 2012|By Chuck Schilken

Lance Armstrong filed a federal lawsuit Monday in an attempt to block charges by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his record-setting cycling career.

The seven-time Tour de France champion is asking the court to issue an injunction before his Saturday deadline for formally challenging the USADA's arbitration process or accepting sanctions that could include a lifetime ban from cycling and being stripped of his Tour victories.

The lawsuit claims that the USADA rules violate the constitutional right to a fair trial, and that Chief Executive Travis Tygart, who was named a co-defendant in the lawsuit, is waging a personal vendetta against Armstrong, who has consistently claimed his innocence.

The suit also calls the USADA process a "kangaroo court," saying it is "not a fair process and truth is not its goal.”

Tygart said in a statement Monday that Armstong's case is "aimed at concealing the truth."

"USADA was built by athletes on the principles of fairness and integrity," Tygart said. "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."

The USADA formally charged Armstrong in June with taking PEDs and participating in a vast doping conspiracy on his Tour-winning teams. The agency says it has up to 10 former teammates and associates willing to testify against him, along with blood samples from 2009-10 that are "fully consistent" with doping.

A two-year federal criminal investigation into doping allegations against Armstrong ended in February with no charges being filed against him.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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