Lance Armstrong is suing a former personal assistant who claims the six-time defending Tour de France champion owes him $500,000. In a lawsuit filed...

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Armstrong sues former assistant: Lance Armstrong is suing a former personal assistant who claims the six-time defending Tour de France champion owes him $500,000.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Armstrong and his personal-service company, Luke David LLC, are seeking to declare an alleged employment contract with Mike Anderson invalid.

Anderson claims that Armstrong sent him an e-mail in 2002 setting proposed terms of employment, according to papers filed in the lawsuit Monday.

Anderson, who helped Armstrong with training and landscaping, alleges that the e-mail served as a contract. But papers in the lawsuit stated that he could be terminated at will.

After being fired in November, Anderson demanded that Armstrong and his company pay $500,000 to he and his wife, the lawsuit states. Anderson also demanded a signed Tour de France jersey and future endorsements from the cycling champion.

Armstrong’s agent, Bill Stapleton, did not return a telephone message from The Associated Press. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

Horse racing

Sellers announces retirement: Jockey Shane Sellers, at the forefront of a push for better health insurance for riders, retired, ending a career that included more than 4,000 victories and about $130 million in purses.

The 38-year-old Sellers, who rode his first winner as a teenager, said he wasn’t willing to jeopardize his family’s future if he’s seriously injured in a spill.

Sellers hadn’t ridden since Oct. 2, citing the injury to jockey Gary Birzer, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a spill in July at a West Virginia track.

“I made a decision that I couldn’t do it no more,” Sellers said. “I couldn’t go out there every day. My heart wasn’t in it to ride with the chance of me falling and losing everything I own.”

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has formed a health-insurance review panel to try to resolve the dispute over jockey coverage.

The controversy over jockeys’ insurance sparked a confrontation this fall at Churchill Downs, which banned 14 jockeys from the rest of its meet after the riders refused to accept mounts for the next racing card. The jockeys complained that the track’s $100,000 injury benefit wasn’t enough.

Sellers also was barred from the track because of an incident in the jockeys’ room on the day some riders refused to commit to future mounts. Sellers said he was unfairly targeted as a ringleader in the revolt.


Arbitration panel to consider authority to ban Montgomery, Gaines: The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will face a serious challenge today to its case against sprinters Tim Montgomery and Chryste Gaines, two sources familiar with the matter said.

A panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport will meet in Montreal to consider defense motions questioning the agency’s authority to prosecute athletes who have not failed drug tests.

Montgomery and Gaines are facing lifetime bans from track and field for drug violations based on circumstantial evidence collected in the BALCO Laboratories scandal. Their cases are scheduled to be heard next summer.

If arbitrators accept defense arguments in today’s preliminary hearing, the charges could be dismissed, one source said. That would be a blow to the anti-doping agency’s ability to conduct investigations based on what are called “non-analytical positives.”

Track-and-field officials might be forced to allow an admitted drug cheat to continue competing. Montgomery, the world-record holder in the 100 meters, reportedly admitted last year to a San Francisco grand jury that he used performance-enhancing drugs. But the anti-doping agency does not have access to that secret testimony.

Seattle Times news services