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Bruyneel stands by Schleck

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 19, 2012, 11:18 BST,
Updated:
July 19, 2012, 12:09 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 19, 2012
Race:
Tour de France
Johan Bruyneel faces the media

Johan Bruyneel faces the media

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Expects to clear his own name in USADA case

Johan Bruyneel received the “phone call every sports director hates to receive,” and he subsequently had to inform Fränk Schleck of his positive test. The RadioShack-Nissan sport director says that while he believes in Schleck's declaration of innocence, “at the moment there's really nothing more to say on Frank's situation.”

In his personal blog, Bruyneel said that Schleck's, “voice said it all - shocked, devastated, angry and confused.  And while no director or any other person can fully monitor, control and watch over any one individual athlete - I believe Frank when he declared his innocence. The kind of substance and low quantity justifies the presumption of innocence.”

Still, it was necessary to pull him from the Tour de France: “To give Fränk every opportunity to concentrate on proving his innocence; To keep the focus of the team on the race itself; And last but not least - To respect the Tour de France, where all attention should be on the competition and battles taking place every day on the road.”

Looking to the rest of the team still at the race, Bruyneel, who is not at the Tour, said that he was proud of his riders, and especially Jens Voigt. “It's amazing what he continues to do at almost 41 years of age (not going to use the word "old"). And not to mention how he contributes to the overall atmosphere in the bus and at the dinner table.”

The team will continue to support Haimar Zubeldia. “Currently sitting in fifth place overall, we're setting him up nicely for his fourth career top ten overall finish in the Tour. Not many have that on their palmares!”

The team ranking is also still a goal, he said. With four stage to go, RadioShack leads the team classification by more than 17 minutes.

While he is currently enjoying watching the Tour and spending time with his family, Bruyneel also has other concerns. “I remain determined to contest the USADA allegations. I expect to see my name cleared, as it has been every single time in the past.”

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