I was never a Lance fan, however . . .
Several sports law specialists said the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report that triggered Armstrong's downfall and world cycling's confirmation of its punishment ignored the statute of limitations that ordinarily applies in such cases.
Anti-doping rules state that there is an eight-year time limit to bring cases of alleged violations.
"A lot of former cyclists are currently owning up . . . In these cases, the eight-year limitation has been respected.
I too saw the reports of 'sports law specialists' saying that the ban may be illegal. Quite frankly, they sounded exactly like Armstrong's tactics in the past - don't defend the allegations, attack those making them.
I also note that WADA has now upheld the USADA findings.
I know you weren't defending Armstrong Heather, but I have heard others attempt to use this to do so.
They seem to call that Lance's Rule.
You either have statute of limitations or not, apparently they do.
He could still ride a bike.
Someone hasn't read the reasoned decision.
Page 154 (I'll provide the entire relevant text so we can kill this complaint off straight away):
THE EIGHT-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOUND IN ARTICLE 17 OF
THE CODE WAS SUSPENDED BY MR. ARMSTRONG’S FRAUDULENT
CONCEALMENT OF HIS DOPING AND OTHER WRONGFUL ACTS
In its initial notice letter to Mr. Armstrong, which was incorporated into its charging
letter USADA specifically informed Mr. Armstrong that USADA was seeking the
disqualification of Mr. Armstrong’s competitive results from August 1, 1998, onward. Mr.
Armstrong could have, but did not, challenge USADA’s assertion that the eight year statute of
limitations found in the World Anti-Doping Code was suspended by Mr. Armstrong’s conduct.
The eight-year statute of limitation found in Article 17 of the Code was suspended by Mr.
Armstrong’s fraudulent concealment of his doping. In asserting anti-doping rule violations and
disqualifying results older than the eight year limitation period found in Article 17 of the Code,
USADA is relying on the well-established principle that the running of a statute of limitation is
suspended when the person seeking to assert the statute of limitation defense has subverted the
judicial process, such as by fraudulently concealing his wrongful conduct.
The eight-year statute of limitation found in Article 17 of the Code is not absolute. As
the CAS panel in CAS 2005/C/841 CONI found, the “interruption, suspension, expiry or
extension of such [eight-year] time-bar . . . . should be dealt with in the context of the principles
of private law of the country where the interested sports authority is domiciled.” (CONI, ¶ 78)
As the anti-doping organization conducting results management, USADA is the “interested
party” in this case. Thus, the statute of limitations issue should be analyzed according to U.S.
law. Under U.S. law, the running of a statute of limitation is suspended when a person has
fraudulently concealed his conduct: “one who wrongfully conceals material facts and thereby
prevents discovery of his wrong . . . is not permitted to assert the statute of limitations as a bar to
an action against him, thus taking advantage of his own wrong, until the expiration of the full Page | 155
statutory period from the time when the facts were discovered or should, with reasonable
diligence, have been discovered.” (Pacific Electric Co., 310 F.2d 271, at 277 (quoting 34
Am.Jur. 188)) As detailed in Section VII above, Mr. Armstrong fraudulently concealed his
doping from USADA in many ways, including lying under oath in the SCA case; lying in the
2000 French judicial investigation; intimidating witnesses; and soliciting false affidavits. Mr.
Armstrong cannot benefit from the running of a statute of limitation when a violation would have
been asserted by USADA earlier but for his fraudulent concealment.
Armstrong’s affirmative actions to cover up his doping and subvert the judicial process
clearly constitute the kind of fraudulent concealment sufficient to suspend the running of the
statute of limitation under U.S. law. A recent American Arbitration Association decision in a
doping case addressed both the general principle that an athlete who fraudulently conceals
doping cannot profit from that fraud by claiming that the statute of limitations has run, and the
specific situation where the panel suspended the statute of limitation because the athlete denied
under oath that he had doped. (USADA v Hellebuyck, AAA Case No. 77 190 168 11, Jan 30,
2012) Similarly, under U.S. law, Armstrong should not be allowed to claim the benefit of a
statute of limitation where his doping has been concealed, and the judicial process subverted, by
his lying under oath and other affirmative actions which precluded the earlier discovery of his
doping by USADA.