RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel will not be allowed to work on races in February and March 2011 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal against the timing of his suspension.
Bruyneel was suspended for two months and fined 10,000 Swiss Francs after his RadioShack riders wore an alternative kit on the final stage of the Tour de France without first seeking UCI clearance to do so. While the Belgian accepted the length of his suspension, on December 16 he appealed to CAS that the suspension be brought forward by a month and begin on January 1.
After an accelerated arbitration procedure, CAS rejected Bruyneel’s appeal. He will now be free to work on the Tour Down Under, which is understood to be Lance Armstrong’s final international race for RadioShack. However, Bruyneel will then miss the first two months of the European season, returning to the team car on April 1.
Bruyneel was handed the two-month suspension when his RadioShack team wore jerseys advertising Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation on the final stage of the Tour de France. The stage was delayed as the riders had to change into their regulation kit, although the RadioShack team appeared on the podium after the stage wearing the contentious kit.
The affair was then compounded when Bruyneel used his Twitter account to launch an invective against the UCI commissaires, saying “Now it’s official! To be a race commissar [sic] you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!’”
In spite of a subsequent apology for his broadside, Bruyneel was sanctioned for his role in the incident.
Bruyneel had appealed only the timing of his suspension. He noted that Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) was also given a two-month suspension (for fighting during the Tour), but that the Spaniard's ban was for January and February. Bruyneel thought that the two suspensions should run simultaneously, with press spokesman Philippe Maertens telling Cyclingnews that the differences were “a bit strange and not logical”.
In its statement issued on Friday, CAS also noted that “the award with reasons will be published in a few weeks.”