Judge throws out Lance Armstrong’s publicity-seeking lawsuit

Chris Chase

Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was quickly dismissed by a judge who denied the cyclist's claim that the USADA's arbitration process was a "kangaroo court." U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks said Armstrong's suit was a "bitter polemic" designed to "incite public opinion" and threw it out of court hours after it was failed.

The retired cycling legend was accused by the USADA of taking part in a lengthy doping program during his career. He could be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from Olympic competition if he doesn't win a court order against the USADA by Saturday.

It was claimed in the 80-page lawsuit that Armstrong's constitutional rights were violated. Judge Sparks wasn't listening. He wrote a terse, three-page rejection of Armstrong's suit:

"This court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong's desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement or vilification of Defendants by sifting through eighty mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of material relevant to his claims. Contrary to Armstrong's apparent belief, pleadings filed in the United States District Courts are not press releases, internet blogs, or pieces of investigative journalism. [...] The bulk of these paragraphs contain 'allegations' that are wholly irrelevant to Armstrong's claims — and which, the Court must presume, were included solely to increase media coverage of the case, and to incite public opinion against Defendants."

Sparks used derisive air quotes and everything. That's a stern rebuke from the bench.

In my professional legal opinion (watching "Matlock" at off hours), this order from Judge Sparks is most reminiscent of the landmark Ohhhhhhh!! v. Snap!! decision from the 1930s, with influences of Justice Brennan's "Talk to the Hand" majority opinion.