A federal judge in Austin, Texas, threw out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Monday, a decision that allows the agency's drug case against the seven-time Tour de France winner to move ahead.
Armstrong, who repeatedly has denied doping, claimed in his lawsuit that USADA lacked jurisdiction and its arbitration process violates his constitutional rights.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the lawsuit as speculative.
''With respect to Armstrong's due process challenges, the court agrees they are without merit,'' Sparks wrote in a 30-page order. ''Alternatively, even if the court has jurisdiction over Armstrong's remaining claims, the court finds they are best resolved through the well-established system of international arbitration, by those with expertise in the field, rather than by the unilateral edict of a single nation's courts.''
Armstrong can try to overturn Sparks' decision by going to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He also can agree to proceed with USADA's arbitration or accept its sanctions.
In a governing body turf war, the International Cycling Union (UCI) says it has jurisdiction in the Armstrong matter, not USADA. USADA could be challenged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
Armstrong was still considering his options.
''On balance, the court finds the USADA arbitration rules, which largely follow those of the American Arbitration Association, are sufficiently robust to satisfy the requirements of due process,'' Sparks wrote. ''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.''