USADA gives Armstrong extension
The United States Anti-Doping Agency has extended its deadline for Lance Armstrong to answer the charges against him.
Armstrong was charged by USADA last month with using performance-enhancing drugs and he originally had until Saturday to enter into arbitration to contest the charges or accept sanctions after his original lawsuit was dismissed by a judge on Monday.
But the seven-time Tour de France winner has now re-filed his claim against the doping agency, who have delayed Saturday's deadline by 30 days to allow the court to evaluate Armstrong's case.
"USADA has agreed to extend its Saturday, July 14th deadline for 30 days. A Temporary Restraining Order is not now necessary," a statement from Tim Herman, counsel to Armstrong, said.
"This extension will allow the court sufficient time to evaluate Mr Armstrong's amended complaint."
Armstrong, who could lose his seven Tour titles as well as face a lifetime ban - which would also cover triathlon, the sport he now competes in - has strenuously denied the charges against him.
But after his original lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a "lengthy and bitter polemic", Armstrong and his lawyers were given 20 days to re-file his suit against USADA and the body's chief executive, Travis Tygart, which they have now done.
The suit asks the US District Court in Armstrong's hometown of Austin, Texas to find that USADA "does not have the right to charge and sanction him and strip him of his titles".
If the court grants Armstrong's request that is likely to lead to a lengthy legal battle between the cyclist and USADA.
If his request is rejected, Armstrong would instead face an arbitration hearing sometime between now and November.
USADA launched legal proceedings against Armstrong last month for alleged doping violations going back 16 years.
They have said more than 10 former team-mates and officials will testify against the 40-year-old.
Yesterday, three former staff members of the United States Postal Service team, for which Armstrong rode between 1998 and 2004, were handed lifetime bans by USADA.
Dr Luis Garcia del Moral (cycling team doctor), Dr Michele Ferrari (cycling team consulting doctor) and Jose "Pepe" Marti (cycling team trainer) received the sanctions after being found guilty of anti-doping violations while with USPS team between 1999 and 2007.
The first six of Armstrong's seven titles came while riding for USPS.