Sources: Rock Racing cyclist is plaintiff in lawsuit against U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

Updated: January 26, 2008, 3:21 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- The plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is Rock Racing cyclist Kayle Leogrande, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press.

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of "John Doe" in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the cyclist claims USADA broke its own rules and damaged him by outing him as a doping suspect. His identity was sealed in the suit to prevent his name circulating more widely.

Two people with direct knowledge of the case told the AP on Friday that Leogrande was the unnamed cyclist, and that sworn affidavits about Leogrande had been provided to USADA, which was using them in building a case against the 30-year-old.

The cyclist claims USADA planned to test his backup urine sample even though the original 'A' sample test came back negative, and the lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent USADA from ever testing the 'B' sample.

USADA general counsel Bill Bock would not confirm the name, citing agency rules that forbid him from discussing specific cases.

A message left by AP on Leogrande's cell phone was returned from that cell phone. The angry caller said: "Lose my phone number. Don't call me again. ... I don't know how you got my phone number, but lose it," then hung up.

Plaintiff attorney Maurice Suh did not immediately return messages left at his office by AP.

The samples in question were taken during the International Cycling Classic last July, the two people familiar with the case said. Leogrande won three events, finished second at three more and finished second overall at the event, also known as Superweek.

Leogrande is a member of the Rock Racing team, which is owned by Michael Ball, the CEO of jeans-maker Rock & Republic. His bio on the team Web site said using the "same signature aggressive approach, he now plans to change the face of the racing world."

He most notably has hired Tyler Hamilton, who served a two-year suspension for doping, and had been in conversations with Floyd Landis, who is fighting doping charges of his own, to work in some management capacity for the team.

But Landis, who's serving a two-year suspension while his appeal is pending at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is prohibited from working for a cycling team.

Landis said Ball was "someone who is going to speak his mind and not always be politically correct about it."

"But he's not out there to break the rules," Landis said. "He sees it the same way I do. If a guy is going to ride, he wants them to follow the rules."

Landis said he didn't know Leogrande and wasn't familiar with the case. The plaintiff's attorneys in this case, Suh and Howard Jacobs, are the same team that represent Landis.

On Thursday, when asked about the lawsuit, Bock called it "utterly frivolous and morally bankrupt."

The lawsuit calls for a jury trial and seeks to recoup damages the plaintiff claims were incurred when the anti-doping agency revealed the case to race organizers and the UCLA testing lab.

The suit alleges USADA notified the plaintiff last Nov. 15 that the 'A' sample came back negative. Despite that negative finding, the agency directed the UCLA testing lab to test the 'B' sample, "thereby violating the applicable rules and regulations governing anti-doping control and testing."

USADA originally planned to test the cyclist's 'B' sample Jan. 15, the lawsuit says, but after the plaintiff's attorneys demanded the agency scrap that test, the agency canceled it.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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