Lance Armstrong Sues Doping Agency to Drop Charges

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(CNN) — Lance Armstrong, charged in June by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, filed a lawsuit Monday, July 9th to have those doping charges dismissed.

Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion who has returned to triathlon competitions, has always insisted that he never took performance-enhancing drugs.

In papers filed in a Texas court, Armstrong said the USADA and its CEO, Travis Tygart, have no jurisdiction and are out to get a ‘big fish” to justify the agency’s existence.

“Defendants have charged Mr. Armstrong with unspecified doping violations and seek to try him through USADA’s self-created, self-regulated and self-operated process that it has rigged to ensure that it cannot lose,” the lawsuit says. “USADA’s kangaroo court proceeding would violate due process even if USADA had jurisdiction to pursue its charges against Mr. Armstrong.”

In June, the agency announced that it was opening proceedings against Armstrong and five former teammates. It released a statement in response to the lawsuit.

“USADA was built by athletes on the principles of fairness and integrity,” Tygart said in the release. “Like previous lawsuits aimed at concealing the truth, this lawsuit is without merit and we are confident the courts will continue to uphold the established rules which provide full constitutional due process and are designed to protect the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport.”

Armstrong says the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body of cycling, is the “only organization permitted to assess the evidence.” He says he has taken at least 500 drug tests in his cycling career, never failing one.

In February, Justice Department prosecutors said they closed a criminal investigation after reviewing allegations against Armstrong. They had called witnesses to a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, but they apparently determined they lacked evidence to bring a charge that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong has won two half-distance Ironman events this year, and he is suspended from World Triathlon Corporation competitions. The world championships will be held in October in Hawaii.

Armstrong, who was a U.S. triathlon champion as a teenager, lives in Austin, Texas.