Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
UPDATE: A federal judge dismissed Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Monday.
The Associated Press reports that the move came just hours after the seven-time Tour De France winner filed his suit aimed at blocking the agency from pursuing performance-enhancing drug charges against him.
In dismissing the lawsuit without prejudice, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks criticized Armstrong's legal team for filing an 80-page complaint that the judge said was more focused on, in the AP's words, "whip[ping] up public opinion for his case" than it was on Armstrong's legal argument against the quasi-governmental agency. Sparks gave Armstrong 20 days to refile the lawsuit.
"This Court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong's desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement, or vilification of Defendants," the judge said, according to CBS News' Andrew Cohen.
Armstrong had hoped the federal court would rule in his favor by a Saturday deadline for the cyclist to either accept the USADA sanctions or go to arbitration.
Monday, July 9: Lance Armstrong on Monday asked a federal court to block the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from moving ahead with charges that the seven-time Tour De France winner used performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong's lawsuit contends that the quasi-governmental agency's rules violate athletes' constitutional right to a fair trial, as well as that the agency doesn't have jurisdiction in his case. The cancer-awareness spokesman also contends that the PED accusations are a result of USADA chief executive Travis Tygart's personal vendetta against the Texan.
The Associated Press explains that the lawsuit "is an aggressive—and expected—move as Armstrong seeks to preserve his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists ever and an inspiring advocate for cancer survivors and research. "
The lawsuit comes five days before the USADA’s deadline asking Armstrong to either accept a proposed penalty of a lifetime competition ban and the loss of his seven Tour titles or officially contest its charges. The agency says it has 10 former teammates and associates who would testify against the famed cancer survivor, along with blood samples consistent with doping. Armstrong has steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
A two-year federal criminal investigation into doping accusations against Armstrong ended without formal charges in February. The athlete points defensively to the fact that he has taken over 500 tests throughout his career and never been flagged positive.
Armstrong said he would voluntarily refrain from any competitions until the charges have been sorted, according to the Washington Post.