Armstrong racing to stop doping case

Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 10, 2012, 5:23am

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is trying to stop a case charging him with use of performance enhancing drugs.

AUSTIN – World famous cyclist Lance Armstrong is trying to beat the clock once again, but instead of racing other riders, this time he's trying to stop a drug conspiracy case against him.

Armstrong, an Austin resident, has until Saturday to answer charges by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he engaged in a doping conspiracy or the agency could strip his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life from competitive cycling.

On Monday, Armstrong filed an application for a temporary restraining order to stop USADA's case.

The application was rejected almost immediately by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks for the Western District of Texas. Monday afternoon Sparks said Armstrong's 80-plus page TRO was too long and violated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The judge instructed Armstrong's attorneys to specifically state legal claims, what relief the cyclist is seeking and why he should be entitled to such relief.

"Although his causes of action are, thankfully, clearly enumerated, the excessive preceding rhetoric makes it difficult to relate them to any particular factual support," Sparks wrote.

"This Court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong's desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement, or vilification of Defendants, by sifting through 80 mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of factual material relevant to his claims."

USADA brought official charges against Armstrong on June 28, stating it had almost a dozen of Armstrong's former teammates who would say that not only did he use performance enhancing drugs but also encouraged them to use the substances too.

Armstrong, who retired in February 2011, claims the USADA conducted a "kangaroo court" with hand-picked arbitrators and no rules that allow his lawyers to cross examine witnesses.

He says the agency lacks jurisdiction because any investigation or penalization must come from the International Cycling Union.

Armstrong also argues that his Fifth Amendment rights protecting him from double jeopardy are being violated. A federal grand jury in Los Angeles investigated Armstrong in 2010, but the case was closed with no indictments.

But Armstrong claims USADA is illegally using witness interviews and testimony from the grand jury investigation in its current case.

Armstrong's attorneys, including Tim Herman of Austin, plan to refile the request this week.

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