Lifestyle & Belief

Lance Armstrong seeks restraining order against USADA over arbitration demand


Tour de France seven-times winner, US Lance Armstrong, is sprayed with water by a fan as he rides on July 11, 2010.


Joel Saget

Lance Armstrong says the US Anti-Doping Agency has no authority to force him into arbitration over allegations that he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Separately, the USADA and the International Cycling Union (UCI) are now battling over which has authority to investigate and, if warranted, sanction Armstrong, according to a report in The New York Times.

Citing documents filed Friday in federal court, the NYT wrote that the UCI had claimed jurisdiction over the case and had asked the anti-doping agency to hand over all relevant documents.

It had also called the agency’s targeting of Armstrong "worrisome" and "problematic" due to its reluctance to disclose details of the case against him, the Times wrote.

However, an article in Sports Illustrated pointed out that while critics of the USADA — a US nongovernmental organization and a creation of the US Olympic Committee — claim it can be over-zealous in its pursuit of clean sports, critics of the UCI say it has the opposite problem and is too lax on doping, particularly when it comes to the sport's stars.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited Armstrong as saying that the allegations against him fell under the jurisdiction of the UCI.

"The international cycling federation, the Union Cycliste Internationale [UCI], has exclusive jurisdiction over matters in USADA's charging letters and has specifically directed USADA not to proceed," Armstrong's attorney said in a document to the federal court in Austin, Texas.

"USADA has no jurisdiction to bring the charges it has asserted."

The seven-time Tour de France winner had also sought a temporary restraining order barring USADA from forcing him into binding arbitration by Aug. 13.

The USADA has threatened to strip Armstrong of his titles and ban him from competition if he does not accept arbitration.

Armstrong has claimed  his contracts do not require him to accept USADA arbitration of doping disputes.

US District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin has scheduled an August 10 hearing on Armstrong's request.

Annie Skinner, spokeswoman for Colorado Springs-based USADA, did not responded to questions about Armstrong's claims.

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