Cycling: A federal judge handed Lance Armstrong a quick setback Monday as he went to court to save his seven Tour de France titles and his reputation as one of the greatest cyclists ever.
Armstrong filed a lawsuit aimed at preventing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from moving ahead with charges that he used performance- enhancing drugs throughout much of his long career.
But within hours, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the 80-page complaint in Austin, Texas. He said it seemed more intended to whip up public opinion in Armstrong’s favor than focus on the legal argument.
Sparks, however, did not rule on the merits of Armstrong’s claims and will let him refile the lawsuit. Armstrong attorney Tim Herman said he could do that as early as today.
The suit claimed USADA rules violate athletes’ constitutional right to a fair trial, and that the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction in Armstrong’s case. It also accuses USADA’s chief executive, Travis Tygart, of waging a personal vendetta against the cancer survivor who won the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005.
The judge was not impressed.
“This Court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong’s desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement or vilification of Defendants, by sifting through eighty mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of factual material relevant to his claims,” Sparks wrote.
Herman said he got the message.
“When (Sparks) speaks, I listen,” he said. “It doesn’t change the legal issues involved or any of the relief that we seek. I certainly heard what Judge Sparks said. I intend to conform my conduct precisely.”
Armstrong insists he is innocent.
“The process (USADA) seek to force upon Lance Armstrong is not a fair process and truth is not its goal,” his lawsuit said, calling the USADA process a corrupt “kangaroo court.”
Armstrong, who retired in 2011, says he has passed more than 500 drug tests in his career and was never flagged for a positive test.
Wade undergoes surgery on knee
NBA: Dwyane Wade of the NBA champion Miami Heat had surgery on his left knee, and is expected to need up to eight weeks to fully recover.
Wade can begin therapy immediately and the Heat said the All-Star guard is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
The procedure took just 20 minutes, and Wade wrote on his Twitter page Monday afternoon that he is “doing fine.”
He opted to have the knee surgery early in the offseason with hopes of being ready to begin the season on time. The surgery forced Wade to withdraw from consideration for the U.S. Olympic team.
• Camby sent to Knicks: Marcus Camby is returning to New York, while the Houston Rockets continue to reshape their roster. The 38-year-old Camby agreed to rejoin the Knicks in a deal that sends three players and two second-round draft picks to Houston, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move.
Yahoo Sports reported that Camby’s deal was for three years and $13.2 million.
Camby played in New York from 1998-2002.
• Kings sign Robinson: The Sacramento Kings have signed first-round pick Thomas Robinson to a rookie contract.
Sacramento selected Robinson with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft almost two weeks ago.
Robinson, the first unanimous first-team All-American since Blake Griffin, led the Kansas Jayhawks to the national championship game against Kentucky, where Kansas lost 67-59.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
• Knicks sign Novak: Steve Novak is returning to the New York Knicks with a four-year deal worth $15 million.
Novak’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said the deal is a reward for a player who finally got his opportunity and took advantage of it. The Knicks claimed Novak after he was waived by San Antonio and he went on to lead the NBA in 3-point shooting at 47.2 percent last season.
• Hinrich headed back to Chicago: Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich has agreed to a deal to return to the Chicago Bulls.
The 31-year-old Hinrich spent his first seven seasons with Chicago before he was traded to the Washington Wizards two years ago. He was later dealt to Atlanta, where he averaged 6.6 points in 48 games last season.
Notre Dame eyeing Orange Bowl
Miscellany: Notre Dame says it has had talks with the Atlantic Coast Conference about the Orange Bowl.
The ACC signed a 12-year deal with the Orange Bowl last week that starts in 2014, when the postseason format changes to a four-team playoff.
The deal gives ACC members access to Orange Bowl in years the football game does not host a national semifinal.
Notre Dame is interested in a deal that would give the Fighting Irish an automatic landing spot in some seasons in which they are good enough to play in a top-tier game but do not make the playoff.
• Rison gets probation for failure to pay child support: Former NFL receiver Andre Rison was sentenced in federal district court in Phoenix to five years’ probation and more than $300,000 in restitution for not paying child support.
The indictment says the due date for his payments had passed about three years ago. Court documents say his 13-year-old child lived in Phoenix at the time the payments were due.
Rison also is expected to continue monthly child support payments of close to $2,350.
Rison played 13 seasons in the NFL with seven teams. Most of his best seasons came with the Atlanta Falcons.