Armstrong's former team manager facing lifetime ban
Former team manager of Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel will fight U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charges which allege he engaged in anti-doping rule violations.
"USADA can confirm that in accordance with the rules that are compliant with federal law and were approved by athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and all Olympic sports organizations, Mr. Bruyneel has requested to move forward in the process and have his case heard at an arbitration hearing, which can be open to the public," the Agency announced via a statement.
"As in all cases, during the arbitration hearing, all the evidence will be presented, witness testimony will be subject to cross examination and will be given under oath, and an independent panel of arbitrators will ultimately determine the outcome of the case."
On June 12, Bruyneel was informed that he was being charged with:
- Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
- Trafficking of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
- Administration or attempted administration of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
- Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up, and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.
- Aggravating circumstances justifying the period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction.
Bruyneel faces a lifetime ban if found guilty.
The Belgian was Armstrong's team director in his career following his remission from cancer, beginning with United States Postal Service in 1999. Bruyneel, currently team director for RadioShack-Nissan, chose not to travel to the Tour de France in light of the charges but has stated his innocence.
"I have never participated in any doping activity and I am innocent of all charges," read a statement on Bruyneel's personal website on June 15. "I am dismayed that once again doping allegations have been raised against me, this time by USADA.
"Following a Department of Justice Grand Jury investigation, no charges were filed against me. It cannot be right that I or anyone else can be pursued from court to court simply because our accusers do not like the decisions made along the way and so attempt to find a court which will get them the result they want."
Earlier this week, three others named in the case - Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral (cycling team doctor), Dr. Michele Ferrari (cycling team consulting doctor) and Jose "Pepe" Martí (cycling team trainer) - received lifetime bans for their anti-doping rule violations.