Today, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, dismissed Lance Armstrong lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Agreement to Arbitrate
The court held that Armstrong agreed to arbitrate at least some of his claims. The court found that Armstrong agreed to abide by USA Cycling’s rules and those rules incorporate the USADA Protocol, which requires athletes to contest doping sanctions through arbitration. In addition, the court, citing R- 7 of the Supplementary Procedures, concluded that “Armstrong clearly and unmistakably agreed to arbitrate the question of arbitrability.” See AAA Supplementary Procedure for the Arbitration of Olympic Sport Doping Disputes, Annex D of USADA Protocol.
Due Process Challenges
The court also held that USADA’s arbitration rules, which follow the American Arbitration Association Rules (AAA), are sufficient to satisfy due process. The court first highlighted the requirements of due process by stating that “An essential principle of due process is that a deprivation of life, liberty, or property ‘be preceded by notice and opportunity for hearing appropriate to the nature of the case.”
The court found troubling the lack of detail in USADA’s notification of the charges. However, the court reasoned that enjoining USADA from proceeding further would have no practical effect because USADA could re-issue a more detailed letter and USADA’s counsel had agreed to provide Armstrong with more detailed disclosures of the charges at a time reasonably before arbitration.
Citing Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 30-32 & n.4 (1991), the court rejected Armstrong’s claims of bias of arbitration panels and said, “Like the Supreme Court, this court declines to assume either the pool of potential arbitrators, or the ultimate arbitral panel itself, will be unwilling or unable to render a conscientious decision based on the evidence before it. Further, Armstrong has ample appellate avenues open to him, first to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), where he is entitled to de novo review, and then to the courts of Switzerland, as permitted by Swiss law, if he so elects. Further, the record shows CAS routinely grants hearings in cases such as Armstrong’s, and this Court declines to presume it will break with tradition in this particular instance.”
Armstrong can -prior to August 23, 2012: (i) accept the sanctions imposed by USADA, (ii) arbitrate the case, or (iii) appeal this Order to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Find the Order here.
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Federal Court to Rule Before August 23, Disputing, August 10, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Hearing is Today, Disputing, August 10, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Lance Armstrong Responds to USADA’s Motion to Dismiss, Disputing, August 8, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Fairness of Arbitration Procedure, Disputing, August 8, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Jurisdiction, Disputing, August 7, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Existence of Agreement to Arbitrate, Disputing, August 6, 2012
- The International Convention Against Doping in Sport of 2005, Disputing, August 2, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA’s Successful Arbitration Track Record, Disputing, August 1, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part VI | Right to Appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Disputing, July 30, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part V |USADA Expedited Track, Disputing, July 26, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part IV | The Arbitration Hearing, Disputing, July 25, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part III | The Appointment of Arbitrators, Disputing, July 24, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part II | The Review Board Track, Disputing, July 23, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | USADA Files Motion to Dismiss Lance Armstrong’s Suit , Disputing, July 21, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Adjudication Process Part I | USADA ‘Results Management,’ Disputing, July 19, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Texas Federal Court Will Hear Lance Armstrong Case on August 10, Disputing, July 18, 2012
- Armstrong v. Tygart | Lance Armstrong’s Suit and Restraining Order against USADA, Disputing, July 17, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | What is the USADA? Disputing, July 16, 2012
- USADA Case against Lance Armstrong | USADA Allegations, Disputing, July 13, 2012
- Lance Armstrong | The Doping Controversy Continues, Disputing, July 12, 2012