Johan Brunyeel launches his own sports management company

Lance Armstrong’s former manager may have been banned from cycling for life, but he has now set himself up in business

Lance Armstrong’s friend and former manager Johan Bruyneel has launched a new venture, as he tries to break into sports management.

Bruyneel, who has been banned from cycling for life over his involvement in doping in the Armstrong era, has now launched his own firm ‘7evenPlusTwo,’ a reference to the nine Tour de France victories he was involved in before the doping revelations emerged.

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The company is a sports marketing and strategy agency, which aims to work with sporting events and individual athletes to manage details like contract negotiations, tax planning, personal brand management and event organisation.

According 7evenPlusTwo website, Bruyneel and his team will: “Manage sporting assets from large scale sporting events and their associated brands to life plans for individual athletes. Our work with teams in all sorts of sports focuses on developing winning strategies, helping to turn good teams into great team. Our strategies help individual athletes become sporting legends.

“Sport is big business, so we work with sponsors, rights owners, governments and international sporting organisations to create profitable world class sporting spectacles. We believe sport is an important part of a healthy community, so we work with organisations including city authorities and sports associations to maximise public participation in and enjoyment of sport, whether individually or through amazing mass participation events.”

In 2012 Bruyneel was initially banned from cycling for 10 years by the American Arbitration Association, but his attempt to appeal the ban resulted in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) banning him for life in October 2018.

The CAS ruling said that between 1997 and 2007 the Belgian former pro had been “at the apex of a multitude of doping violations” and had helped and encouraged riders to dope as part of a “widespread and systematic doping program.”

During his career as a sports director and team manager, Bruyneel was involved in all seven of Armstrong’s Tour victories (which he was later stripped of) and two Tour wins with Alberto Contador in 2007 and 2009 (which still stand).

In response to his lifetime ban, Bruyneel said at the time: “I want to stress that I acknowledge and fully accept that a lot of mistakes have been made in the past.

“Without going into details in this letter, I would simply like to observe that we were all children of our era, facing the pitfalls and temptations that were part of the culture at the time.”

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He added: ““In spite of the CAS decision, it is still my goal and my wish to contribute, to help grow my sport and make it better in the years ahead.”

In his Twitter bio, Bruyneel describes himself as “Ex-procyclist. Proud ex-manager of my dear friend Lance Armstrong, winner of seven Tours de France. Anti-hypocrisy warrior.”

Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories in 2012.