US Cycling backs Armstrong
USA Cycling sided against the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in its fight against seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in a letter written to a US federal judge about their dispute. The US sport governing body said it must back the International Cycling Union (UCI) claim that it has jurisdiction in the case and not USADA, which claims jurisdiction based on its mandate from the World Anti-Doping Agency. USADA has charged Armstrong with taking performance-enhancing drugs as part of a doping conspiracy. Armstrong challenged USADA in federal court in his hometown of Austin, Texas, saying that USADA’s arbitration hearing policy denies him a US Constitutional right to a fair trial. In a letter to US District Judge Sam Sparks, Armstrong’s attorneys attached a letter from USA Cycling lawyer Stephen Hess that says USA Cycling supports UCI having “power to express its interpretation of WADA’s anti-doping code.”
Pedrosa leads practice lap
Spain’s Dani Pedrosa posted the fastest practice lap on Friday at the Indianapolis MotoGP, riding his Honda over the 4.21km, 16-turn layout in 1 minute, 39.783 seconds. Pedrosa, who won at Indy in 2010, enters the weekend 23 points behind season pace-setter Jorge Lorenzo, also from Spain, and nine points ahead of Australian Casey Stoner, a fellow Honda rider, in the overall points chase. American Ben Spies, the 2010 Indy pole winner and runner-up, was second in Friday’s practice session time chart on his Yamaha at 1:40.078, with Lorenzo third at 1:40.502 and Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso of Italy fourth at 1:40.560. Defending champion Stoner was fifth on 1:40.623 with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow sixth on his Yamaha at 1:41.055. Lorenzo halted his last top-pace lap in the final turn, leaving uncertain his true potential entering Saturday’s qualifying for Sunday’s race. Spain’s Toni Elias rode the last session for Ducati after Hector Barbera suffered three fractured vertebrae in a last-turn crash in the first practice session. He was to be hospitalized until at least Saturday and deemed unfit for the race because of the injuries.
Arashiro barely wins Tour
Japan’s Yukiya Arashiro, riding for the Europcar team, on Friday won the Tour du Limousin in Limoges, Spain, despite finishing locked on the same time as French rival Jeremy Roy. Arashiro finished second on the fourth and final stage, from Varetz to Limoges, 21 seconds behind FDJ-Big Mat rider Roy to leave both men on 16:48.30. However, Arashiro was declared the winner by virtue of higher finishes on the previous three stages. The Japanese cyclist had finished third in the race in 2006 and 2008.
Jeff Demps to join Patriots
Jeff Demps, who won a silver medla for the US in the men’s 4x100m relay at the London Olympics, plans to sign an NFL deal with the New England Patriots, according to a posting on the NFL’s Web site. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the club was interested in finding a kick returner and Demps would fill the role, having done such duties while a college standout at the University of Florida. Demps ran for 2,470 career yards and 23 touchdowns while in college, but was not selected in April’s NFL Draft after skipping workouts for NFL clubs and all-star games to focus upon his Olympic dream. Demps also drew interest from the New York Jets, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay.