Radioshack team director Johan Bruyneel has issued a public apology for unprofessional comments about race commissaires that has seen both team and director become the subject of UCI disciplinary proceedings. Bruyneel lashed out via Twitter after his squad was prevented from wearing an unauthorised jersey during the Tour de France’s final stage.
During the final stage Bruyneel vented his frustration via Twitter, saying: “Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commissar you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!’”
The American squad took to the start of the final Tour stage wearing an all-black kit advertising Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity rather than their usual RadioShack jerseys. The team had failed to inform race commissaires beforehand and the stage’s start was delayed to allow the RadioShack riders to change back into their regulation colours.
“When race officials informed me that the team wouldn't be able to race with these special jerseys, I became frustrated that our message would not be heard and seen around the world,” said Bruyneel in his apology. “During this time of frustration, I put a disrespectful and unprofessional message on my personal Twitter account targeting the UCI race officials.
“This was not the correct way to handle the situation, nor the example I want to set for my team, family and fans,” he added. “I understand the race officials' decision and publicly apologise for offending any official or representative of the UCI. It is also my intent to personally apologise to UCI President Pat McQuaid for my remarks.”
The UCI Disciplinary Commission described Bruyneel’s remarks as “utterly unacceptable” when announcing he would be asked to appear before the commission. Any fines levied in the matter will be donated to Swiss cancer charity Ligue suisse contre le cancer.