AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge had tough questions for U.S. anti-doping officials about the fairness of their effort to prove seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong cheated, grilling them at length in a hearing Friday.
But U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks also asked attorneys for the cyclist why the federal court should step into an arbitration process already set up to handle doping cases in sports.
In a 2 1/2-hour session, Sparks criticized USADA about the vagueness of its charges and wondered whether Armstrong would get a legitimate chance to defend himself against allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
Sparks also questioned USADA officials about why they don't turn their evidence over to the International Cycling Union, which has tried to wrest control of the Armstrong case from USADA in recent days. ...
See the whole article here, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
Kicking Back Comments: Reading between the lines, this is not great news for the USADA. In particular when a judge starts asking questions about vague evidence, or turning over evidence or jurisdiction to another, there are some serious procedural questions in play.
Justice Sparks is said he will rule before the 23rd. If I had to guess, he will push the matter to arbitration as all the other options would seem less tenable legally.
I found the prepared remarks from the USADA amusing. From the article:
Hope Solo; 1 positive test; public reprimand; competed in 2012 Olympics.
Lance Armstrong; 0 positive tests; state, federal, and international tribunals; DQ'd from IronMan and faces a lifetime ban from sport.
Ahab needs to get his Whale.