A federal judge in North Carolina has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed by Trevor Graham, the Raleigh track coach whose athletes were involved in several high-profile doping cases.
Graham received a lifetime coaching ban from USADA in 2008 for his role in helping athletes obtain performance-enhancing drugs.
Graham has denied such accusations, describing himself instead as a “whistleblower” who sent the syringe of designer steroids to USADA that opened up the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative probe.
Though Graham initially was granted immunity for his cooperation in the investigation, the agreement did not protect him from prosecution for making false statements to investigators.
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Graham has claimed USADA violated his free speech and due process rights by not granting him a hearing before issuing the lifetime ban.
Before the ban, Graham, 53, had a roster of high-profile runners including Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin, all of whom were linked to the BALCO scandal.
“A laundry list of constitutional provisions and a declaration of harm without ‘factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged’ is insufficient to state a claim,” the federal judge said in the Oct. 14 ruling.
The judge said “legal conclusions ‘must be supported by factual allegations’ that amount to more than ‘unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s].’”
Graham was based in Raleigh when the ban was imposed. He filed his lawsuit earlier this year.