AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ― With Lance Armstrong digging in for a legal fight, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued lifetime sports bans Tuesday to three former staff members and consultants on the cyclist’s winning Tour de France teams for drug violations.
Luis Garcia del Moral was a team doctor; Michele Ferrari was a consulting doctor; and Jose “Pepe” Marti (team trainer) worked for Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel squads. All had been accused by USADA of participating in a vast doping conspiracy on those teams during part or all of Armstrong’s seven Tour victories from 1999-2005.
Armstrong also has been charged and has declared his innocence.
Several hours after USADA announced its sanctions against the others, Armstrong’s attorneys refiled a lawsuit asking a federal judge in Austin to prevent the case against from going forward.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks had thrown out Armstrong’s initial 80-page complaint Monday, but invited him to submit a new one that was shorter, more to the point and less about his career and personal battles with anti-doping officials.
Armstrong’s attorneys refiled a 25-page suit arguing that USADA violates athletes’ constitutional rights, that the agency doesn’t have the jurisdiction to bring the charges and that it may have violated federal law in its investigation.
Armstrong wants the court to rule by Saturday, his deadline to either accept USADA’s charges and sanctions or send his case to arbitration.
Tour rider Di Gregorio arrested in probe
VILLIE-MORGON, France (AP) ― The longtime problem of doping hit the Tour de France head-on when a French rider was arrested at his team hotel and suspended by his team Tuesday.
Police made their move on the Tour’s first rest day in arresting Cofidis cyclist Remy Di Gregorio, with judicial officials saying two other people suspected of supplying the Frenchman with banned substances were also arrested ― one along with the rider in Bourg-en-Bresse, and another in Marseille.
The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly as the investigation is ongoing.
Cycling’s premier showcase event has long been dogged by doping scandals.