Three Armstrong associates banned
With Lance Armstrong digging in for a legal fight, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued lifetime sports bans Tuesday to three former staff members and consultants on the cyclist’s winning Tour de France teams for drug violations.
Luis Garcia del Moral was a team doctor; Michele Ferrari was a consulting doctor; and Jose "Pepe" Marti (team trainer) worked for Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel squads. All had been accused by USADA of participating in a vast doping conspiracy on those teams during part or all of Armstrong’s seven Tour victories, from 1999 to 2005.
Armstrong also has been charged and has declared his innocence.
Several hours after USADA announced its sanctions against the others, Armstrong’s attorneys refiled a lawsuit asking a federal judge in Austin, Texas, to prevent the case against him from going forward.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks had thrown out Armstrong’s initial 80-page complaint Monday, but invited him to submit a new one that was shorter, more to the point and less about his career and personal battles with anti-doping officials.
Armstrong’s attorneys refiled a 25-page suit arguing that USADA violates athletes’ constitutional rights, that the agency doesn’t have the jurisdiction to bring the charges and that it might have violated federal law in its investigation.
Armstrong wants the court to rule by Saturday, his deadline to either accept USADA’s charges and sanctions or send his case to arbitration.
Also: The longtime problem of doping hit this year’s Tour de France head-on when a French rider was arrested at his team hotel and suspended by his team.
Police made their move on the Tour’s first rest day in arresting Cofidis cyclist Remy Di Gregorio, with judicial officials saying two other people suspected of supplying the Frenchman with banned substances were also arrested – one along with the rider in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, and another in Marseille.
The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly as the investigation is ongoing.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS/BOXING
Munoz, Weidman meet on UFC card
A middleweight contender bout between Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman headlines tonight’s Ultimate Fighting Championship card in San Jose, Calif.
Munoz could make a strong case on the UFC on Fuel 4 card to be the next opponent for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
The event, which also features a light heavyweight bout between James Te Huna and Joey Beltran and a lightweight contest pitting Rafael dos Anjos against Las Vegan Anthony Njokuani, airs live on Fuel TV (Cable 319) at 5 p.m.
Also: No appeal of Chael Sonnen’s loss to Anderson Silva on Saturday night is expected, despite numerous media reports to the contrary.
Sonnen was knocked out in the second round, just moments after a knee by Silva landed on Sonnen’s chest. Knees and kicks to the head of a downed opponent are banned, but replays appeared to show the knee did not strike Sonnen’s head.
Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said he has spoken to the coach named in several media reports, Scott McQuarry. Kizer said no appeal has been filed, and he doesn’t expect one to be.
After three fighters dropped out for various reasons, WBC junior welterweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez finally has an opponent for his Sept. 15 title defense at the MGM Grand Garden. An agreement in principal has been reached to have Alvarez face Josesito Lopez.
The Alvarez-Lopez fight at the MGM will be on the same night WBC welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is scheduled to face Sergio Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Boxingscene.com first reported the news on Lopez being the new opponent for Alvarez.
ESPN.com reported that Showtime will likely televise the Alvarez-Lopez fight. HBO Pay Per View is televising the Chavez Jr.-Martinez fight, and Chavez Jr. and Martinez will be at Wynn Las Vegas today to promote their fight.
Women outnumber men on Team USA
For the first time, the United States Olympic team will have more women than men, with female athletes accounting for 269 of the 530 spots for Team USA at the London Games.
The U.S. Olympic Committee released its official roster, and CEO Scott Blackmun said the female majority was "a true testament to the impact of Title IX," the law that increased opportunities for women in sports, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.
Michael Phelps, who has 14 Olympic medals, is one of 228 athletes making return trips to the games. Among those, 124 have medals; 76 of those were Olympic champions.
Also: A medical examiner in White Plains, N.Y., said an enlarged heart probably caused the death of a former Stanford basketball player who collapsed during an adult league recreational game in New York.
Peter Sauer of Scarsdale died Sunday night at a park in White Plains. The 35-year-old had been a captain of the Stanford team that reached the Final Four in 1998. He played in four NCAA Tournaments.
Three players with local ties fell short of advancing to match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links in Midway, Utah. UNLV standout Kevin Penner narrowly missed the final 64, shooting par 71 to finish at 5-over 147, one shot below the cut line. Adam Tebbs (151) tied for 99th, and Eric Fitzsimmons (155) tied for 131st.
Roman Mudd of Reno held the lead through two rounds of the Nevada State Amateur, shooting his second straight 70 for a 140 total at TPC Summerlin. Longtime local amateur standout Brady Exber (70) was tied for second at 142 with fellow Las Vegan Eric McCardle (72).