USADA claims UCI head said he will not get involved in Armstrong case

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Court documents filed Wednesday by U.S. anti-doping officials in their case against Lance Armstrong include a recent interview given by the head of the International Cycling Union saying his agency is not involved in the dispute and will wait for the outcome.

The filing is the latest twist in a fight pitting the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency against Armstrong and UCI officials over who has jurisdiction to pursue a drug case against the seven-time Tour de France winner. The documents highlight an apparent contradiction on the part of UCI, cycling's governing body.

Armstrong, who denies doping, and UCI officials now argue USADA does not have jurisdiction. And Armstrong is suing in U.S. federal court to block the case. A hearing before Judge Sam Sparks is scheduled Friday

USADA filed a transcript of a July 11 interview UCI head Pat McQuaid gave to Belgian media outlet Sporza, saying UCI has nothing to do with the investigation.

"The position of UCI is that we're not involved in this, and it's a USADA investigation," McQuaid said according to the transcript. "They're doing all the process in the United States. It's nothing to do with UCI, and we'll wait and see what the eventual outcome is."

But just two days later, McQuaid and UCI tried to assert control over the case, telling USADA officials that the Switzerland-based cycling group has jurisdiction and USADA does not.

In a letter to USADA, McQuaid questioned whether evidence has been unfairly withheld from Armstrong and whether witnesses were given incentives to make incriminating statements against him.

USADA claims it has jurisdiction, citing UCI rules, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Wednesday's court filings renewed USADA's claims that because Armstrong applied for his professional cycling license through USA Cycling, he is bound by USADA drug testing and arbitration protocols.

USADA officials brought charges of performance-enhancing drug use against Armstrong in June, threatening to strip him of his Tour de France victories won from 1999-2005. A federal grand jury investigation of the cyclist ended four months earlier without any indictments.

Armstrong repeatedly has proclaimed his innocence. His lawsuit claims USADA rules violate athletes' constitutional right to a fair trial.

An Armstrong spokesman did not immediately comment on the latest court filings.

Also Wednesday, USADA suspended a lifetime ban against Jose "Pepe" Marti, a former athletic trainer on Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service teams, to allow his case to move to arbitration.

USADA issued the ban against Marti on July 10, saying he had failed to respond to charges that he participated in a complex doping program on Armstrong's teams. Marti's representatives later requested arbitration and USADA agreed.

The International Tennis Federation said this week it will recognize USADA's lifetime ban imposed on Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, who also was on the medical staff of Armstrong's teams. He practices sports medicine in Valencia, Spain and has worked with various tennis players, the ITF said.