Lance Armstrong says anti-doping agency can't force arbitration

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Cyclist Lance Armstrong said the US Anti-Doping Agency has no authority to force him into arbitration over allegations that that fall under the jurisdiction of an international cycling federation that hasn't brought a case against him.

The seven-time Tour de France winner is seeking a US court order blocking the USADA, which is threatening to strip his titles and ban him from competition if he doesn't meet an Aug. 13 deadline to accept binding arbitration of allegations he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

"The international cycling federation, the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI, has exclusive jurisdiction over matters in USADA's charging letters and has specifically directed USADA not to proceed," Armstrong's attorneys said in a filing Friday in federal court in Austin, Texas. "USADA has no jurisdiction to bring the charges it has asserted."

Armstrong said in the filing that his contracts don't require him to accept USADA arbitration of doping disputes.

The UCI and Armstrong's team have a "strong incentive to cover up what transpired," USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis T. Tygart said in an e-mailed statement.

"The participants in the conspiracy have lashed out in the press, gone to Congress and filed a lawsuit to avoid a public display of the evidence before neutral judges," Tygart said. "Efforts to intimidate, scare or pressure us to conceal the truth will not stop us from doing the job we are mandated to do on behalf of clean athletes and the integrity of all sport."

US District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin has scheduled an Aug. 10 hearing on Armstrong's request for a temporary restraining order barring USADA from forcing him into arbitration.

The case is Armstrong v. United States Anti-Doping Agency, 1:12-cv-00606, US District Court, Western District of Texas (Austin).

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