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Lance Armstrong refiles lawsuit vs. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

July 10, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has refiled a lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has refiled a lawsuit against the… (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images )

Attorneys for Lance Armstrong refiled on Tuesday a lawsuit seeking to stop the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from stripping the cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles.

A day after U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin, Texas, dismissed Armstrong's Monday lawsuit, and called it an attempt to seek publicity, Armstrong's attorneys shortened the filing by more than 80 pages.

The lawsuit still seeks an injunction to stop the agency from demanding that Armstrong either accept the loss of his titles or request an arbitration hearing by Saturday.

Armstrong attorneys claim in the lawsuit that USADA lacks jurisdiction to strip him of the awards, although representatives of the quasi-governmental agency insist they do.

The lawsuit came hours after the agency slapped two doctors and a trainer formerly associated with the rider's U.S. Postal Service team with lifetime competition bans.

According to the agency, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral of Spain, Dr. Michele Ferrari of Italy and trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti of Spain all participated in what USADA describes as a “sophisticated, far-reaching doping conspiracy” with the former U.S. Postal Service team.

The individuals were not available for comment, and a spokesman for Armstrong declined to comment.

Ferrari, del Moral and Marti did not seek arbitration or request an extension -- as Armstrong has done -- to complete their response to charges that were brought by an agency review board, an agency spokeswoman said.

“Permanently banning these individuals from sport is a powerful statement that protects the current and next generation of athletes from their influence, and preserves the integrity of future competition,” USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said in a prepared statement.

Del Moral was team physician for the U.S. Postal Service team that counted Armstrong as a member from 1999 to 2003.

Armstrong won the Tour every year from 1999 through 2005. He has been charged by a USADA review board with engaging in the doping conspiracy, but has repeatedly professed his innocence, citing hundreds of clean drug tests.

The anti-doping agency revealed in its news release Tuesday an abundance of evidence it says it has gathered against those close to the cycling great.

It alleges that Dr. del Moral from 2000 “was intimately involved in the prohibited method of blood transfusions which cyclists use to boost the number of circulating red blood cells to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and increase endurance."

The agency statement adds, “Dr. del Moral brought riders to his sports medicine clinic in Valencia, Spain, where he withdrew blood for prohibited blood transfusions. Dr. del Moral also assisted with saline infusions in order to keep the rider’s blood levels below threshold levels to avoid detection of their drug use.” 

According to USADA, Dr. Ferrari, was a consulting doctor to “numerous” U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel team riders from 1999 through 2006 who “developed a distinctive mixture of testosterone and olive oil to be administered under the tongue to assist in recovery during races and training.”

The mixture, USADA says, was known as the “oil.”

According to the agency, Ferrari “also advised riders on the use of the banned oxygen enhancer EPO with detailed instructions regarding clearance times, how the EPO drug test worked and how to avoid detection of the drug.”

The agency further stated: “Dr. Ferrari specifically advised riders to inject EPO intravenously in order to avoid the drug showing up in a urine drug test. Dr. Ferrari was present and assisted during instances of prohibited blood doping and EPO use by USPS team members. Dr. Ferrari developed detailed training schedules for riders that included coded symbols designating when EPO should be used and the amount of the drug to inject.”

According to USADA, Marti, as trainer for the Postal Service and Discovery teams from 1999 through 2007, “delivered performance-enhancing drugs … to locations where the riders were living in Europe … and at training camps and cycling races.”

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