Lance Armstrong is through fucking around. The latest doping charges against the seven-time Tour De France winner and world-class bully have been answered, not with evidence or witnesses, but with a lawsuit. Armstrong has taken the US Anti-Doping Agency to federal court, claiming that USADA's charges constitute a personal vendetta against him, and fall beyond the agency's authority in the first place.
In addition, Armstrong has requested a temporary restraining order ahead of a Saturday deadline to respond to charges. As it stands now, he can accept being banned for life, or he can fight in USADA's "kangaroo court," which, Armstrong says, is designed to find athletes guilty.
There are thorny legal issues raised about USADA, a quasi-governmental organization, ones that have never really been hashed out before. Armstrong claims his due process is violated by an arbitration process that doesn't allow accused athletes to subpoena documents or compel witnesses to testify on their behalf. Additionally, Armstrong claims USADA has violated federal laws by promising reduced doping suspensions to former teammates, in exchange for their testimony against him.
But the most fascinating aspect of these filings are just how personal and vicious they are. Armstrong claims that USADA believes it is "above the United States Constitution, above the law, above court review, free from supervision from any person or organization, and even above its own rules." Armstrong goes on to allege that USADA CEO Travis Tygart and FDA agent Jeff Novitzky are obsessed with "getting" Armstrong, a "big fish" to justify USADA's existence—and the $10 million in federal funds it receives annually.