US District Judge Sam Sparks noted “troubling aspects” of USADA’s case against Armstrong and a “perplexing” battle between USADA and the International Cycling Union over jurisdiction in the case, but despite his criticism of those bodies he was firm in his view that the US courts were not the place to decide the issue.
Armstrong, who has vehemently denied doping during his cycling career, had argued USADA lacked jurisdiction to pursue a case against him and claimed the agency’s arbitration process violated his rights under the US constitution.
Sparks dismissed the lawsuit, filed in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin, Texas. Armstrong can appeal to a higher court, move on to arbitration with USADA — and perhaps eventually to the Court of Arbitration for Sport — or accept sanctions from the agency, which has charged Armstrong with doping during the years he won his Tour de France titles from 1999-2005. Penalties could include a lifetime ban from cycling and the loss of his Tour de France titles.