Lance Armstrong is in a contentious battles with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. (Jean-Christophe Bott /…)
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday extended its deadline 30 days for Lance Armstrong to decide whether he wants to seek arbitration as the agency moves to strip the seven-time Tour de France champion of his titles.
Armstrong attorney Tim Herman -- who on Tuesday refiled a lawsuit against the USADA in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, contending the quasi-governmental agency lacks jurisdictional rights to strip the titles -- said in a statement that his request for a temporary restraining order "is now not necessary. This extension will allow the court sufficient time to evaluate Mr. Armstrong's amended complaint."
Two doctors and a trainer for Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service team received lifetime bans Tuesday for their role in what the USADA described as a years-long systematic policy to engage in performance-enhancing methods and cover them up.
Armstrong also faces charges by a USADA review board of participating in the scheme during his run of Tour titles from 1999-2005.
The rider, who overcame cancer, has professed his innocence, citing hundreds of clean drug tests. The U.S. attorney's office brought evidence before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles last year, but decided in February not to pursue criminal charges against Armstrong.
In a statement Wednesday, a USADA spokeswoman said: "USADA has granted Mr. Armstrong a brief extension of up to 30 days to contest the doping charges until the court dismisses the lawsuit or rules on any preliminary injunction.
"USADA believes this lawsuit like previous lawsuits aimed at concealing the truth, is without merit and is confident the court will continue to uphold the established rules which are compliant with federal law and were approved by athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and all Olympic sports organizations.”