Armstrong gets 30-day extension from USADA

Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 12, 2012, 10:56am


AUSTIN - After refiling a lawsuit on Tuesday, cyclist Lance Armstrong has been given a 30-day extension to answer charges by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance enhancing drugs.

Armstrong's attorneys first filed suit and a request for a temporary restraining order on Monday, but U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks in Austin immediately dismissed the filing. He said the filing violated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Attorney Tim Herman of Austin filed an amended complaint on Tuesday.

Armstrong, an Austin resident, had 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.

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.

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."

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.

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