Texas court will hear Armstrong vs USADA case on August 10th
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Texas court will hear Armstrong vs USADA case on August 10th

by Shane Stokes at 7:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Outcome will determine if US Postal Service investigation will be decided by USADA arbitration panel

Lance ArmstrongThe United States district court in Austin, Texas has set a date for the hearing in relation to an application lodged by Lance Armstrong and his legal team on July 9th.

The complaint was made against the investigation being carried out by the US Anti Doping Agency, claiming that investigation is unconstitutional and that it is the result of an eight-year vendetta against him.

District court judge Sam Sparks has ruled that the hearing will take place on August 10th, starting 2pm. He has however stated that he feels a conclusion will not be reached by the end of a deadline imposed by USADA on July 11th.

“The Court is advised there is presently no need for a temporary restraining order in this case, in light of Defendants' agreement to extend Armstrong's arbitration deadline by thirty days,” he wrote in a document sent to Armstrong and USADA on July 13th.

“However, because this case is unlikely to have been resolved by that date, the agreed extension is likely only to postpone the question of whether this Court should enjoin Defendants from enforcing arbitration deadline against Armstrong while the lawsuit progresses.”

USADA is yet to respond publically on the matter. According to Boulder Criminal Law Advisor, USADA’s options include filing a motion to dismiss the district court case, a motion to compel arbitration or a motion to stay pending arbitration.

Last month USADA charged Armstrong with serious doping offences and said that he faced a possible lifetime ban. Five others were also charged in connection to alleged doping on the US Postal Service and other teams; of those, the doctors Michele Ferrari and Luis Garcia del Moral plus the coach Pepe Marti did not respond by USADA's initial deadline and were handed lifetime bans on July 10th.

Two others – former USPS team manager Johan Bruyneel and RadioShack Nissan team doctor Petro Celaya – have opted for arbitration and are expected to be held sometime before November.

Armstrong stated in January 2011 that he looked forward to USADA looking at the allegations against him and clearing his name. More recently, he has battled to prevent that, claiming that the agency plus WADA have a vendetta against him.

He originally filed a motion on July 10th to block the arbitration hearing, but this was thrown out a few hours later. Judge Sparks said that the document was over-long, contained points intended solely to increase media coverage of the case, and also to incite public opinion against Defendants.

He said that he would consider a revised document and has now indicated that he is willing to hear the arguments.

Athletes have attempted to sidestep USADA in the past, but lost out. In May 2004 a New York judge dismissed a suit taken by the middle distance runner Regina Jacobs against USADA and USATF (USA Track and Field) in relation to the Balco case. She had sought to go outside the usual arbitration process, but was unsuccessful in that attempt.

The latest communication from the court is as follows:

BE IT REMEMBERED on this day the Court reviewed the file in the above-styled cause, and
Now enters the following. The Court is advised there is presently no need for a temporary restraining order in this case, in light of Defendants' agreement to extend Armstrong's arbitration deadline by thirty days. However, because this case is unlikely to have been resolved by that date, the agreed extension is likely only to postpone the question of whether this Court should enjoin Defendants from enforcing arbitration deadline against Armstrong while the lawsuit progresses. Anticipating the need for a hearing near the end of this thirty-day period, the Court hereby SETS this case for a HEARING on current status and all pending maters on FRIDAY, AUGUST10, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. If agreements between the parties subsequent to this date make such a hearing unnecessary, the parties shall advise the Court and the setting will be cancelled.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that this case is SET for a HEARING on ALL PENDING MATTERS on FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2012, at 2.00 p.m in Courtroom 2 of the United States Courthouse, 200 W. Eighth Street, Austin, Texas.

Signed this the 13th day of July 2012,

Sam Sparks
United States District Judge

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