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Lance Armstrong refiles suit against anti-doping agency

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:44 AM EDT, Wed July 11, 2012
Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong has refiled his lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong has refiled his lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Cycling champ Armstrong asks the court to file an injunction against USADA
  • He refiles one day after a judge dismisses lawsuit
  • The seven-time Tour de France winner faces doping charges
  • He says he has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs

(CNN) -- Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong refiled a lawsuit Tuesday against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in a bid to halt a doping case against him.

One day earlier, a federal judge threw out Armstrong's original suit, blasting the seven-time Tour de France champion in a sharply worded ruling.

In his brief order, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks wrote that the case was full of legally irrelevant claims "included solely to increase media coverage of this case" and stir up hostility toward USADA. He urged the cyclist to refile his lawsuit without "any improper argument, rhetoric, or irrelevant material."

Like the original, the refiled suit asks the court to file an injunction against USADA by Saturday, the agency's deadline for Armstrong to agree to contest the charges or accept sanctions. It is substantially shorter than the original lawsuit, by about 55 pages.

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USADA has accused Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong maintains he has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and has said USADA and its CEO, Travis Tygart, are out to get a "big fish" to justify the agency's existence.

"Throughout his 20-plus year professional career, Mr. Armstrong has been subjected to 500 to 600 drug tests without a single positive test," the refiled suit reads. It contends USADA "does not have the right to force him to arbitrate those charges without a valid, enforceable legal agreement to do so."

The 40-year-old Armstrong faces a lifetime ban and could be stripped of his Tour de France victories if found guilty by USADA. Armstrong won the tour each year from 1999 to 2005, most of those for a team sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. He retired twice from cycling -- first in 2005, for four years, and again in 2011.

USADA is a quasi-government agency recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic events in the United States. In a June letter to Armstrong, a copy of which was obtained by CNN, the agency said it collected blood samples from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions."

EPO, or erythropoietin, boosts the number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles.

Armstrong has been dogged by allegations of drug abuse in recent years, with compatriot Floyd Landis -- who was found guilty of doping in the 2006 Tour de France, resulting in him being stripped of the title -- making a series of claims last year.

Armstrong came out fighting in May 2011, in the face of fresh allegations made on CBS News' "60 Minutes" show by another American, Tyler Hamilton. In the CBS interview, Hamilton, who retired in 2009 after twice testing positive himself, says he first saw Armstrong use EPO in 1999.

"I saw it in his refrigerator," Hamilton told the news program. "I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times."

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. He was a U.S. triathlon champion as a teenager.

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