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.
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.