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, US District Court Judge Sam Sparks in Austin dismissed the 80-page complaint. He said it seemed more intended to whip up public opinion in Armstrong's favor than focus on legal arguments.
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 will do that, possibly on Tuesday.
The lawsuit 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 accused 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 with a filing that dedicated dozens of pages to Armstrong's career history and long-standing disputes with anti-doping officials.
''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.''