Johan Bruyneel says he still does not understand why his two-month suspension starts on February 1 and not January 1, saying the decision by both the International Cycling Union and Court of Arbitration for Sport “really makes no sense at all.”
Bruyneel was give the suspension after the Team RadioShack riders started the final stage of this year's Tour de France in an unapproved kit. At the end of October the UCI announced that Bruyneel would be suspended for two months, starting February 1, 2011. The same day it announced that QuickStep's Carlos Barredo would also be suspended for two months for totally unrelated actions, but starting on January 1, 2011.
“I was unclear why a professional sports governing body would assign two different suspension start dates, especially when the 2011 cycling season starts prior to February 1, 2011 (first World Tour event, the Tour Down Under, starts January 16),” Bruyneel wrote on his personal website.
“Only out of principle, I questioned the UCI on the reason my suspension started February 1 and not January 1 like Barredo's. When I didn't receive an answer, I filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). I was not appealing the suspension, but rather asking the ban to start on January 1 - the same start date as Barredo.”
The CAS issued its ruling on Thursday, denying his appeal and upholding the UCI decision to start the ban on February 1. It did not provide any explanation for its decision at that time, saying “the award with reasons will be published in a few weeks.”
“To this day, I am still left wondering the reason the UCI has not acted in a uniformed and consistent manner using common sense. I will start the season as a sports director on January 16th in Australia at the Santos Tour Down Under, and after this event I will serve a 2 month suspension in February and March.
“My protest was solely out of principle as this is just one example of many where people in our sport are forced to accept arbitrary decisions."
“This particular one, like so many other things in our sport, really makes no sense to me at all, but it is what it is... Does it make sense to you???” Bruyneel asked in frustration.