Lance Armstrong’s former manager Johan Bruyneel banned from cycling for life
Bruyneel had been banned from sport for 10 years, but a new ruling has stepped up the punishment
Lance Armstrong’s former manager Johan Bruyneel has been banned from cycling for life.
The Belgian former pro had been banned from sport for 10 years after he helped and encouraged riders to dope at the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams.
Bruyneel had appealed the ban, which was imposed by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) in 2012, but while considering the appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Bruyneel should be banned for the rest of his life.
The court also considered appeals by US Postal team physician Pedro Celaya Lezama and trainer Jose Marti Marti.
Lezama has also been banned for life, while Marti’s ban was increased to 15 years.
Responding to the news, Bruyneel posted a statement on Twitter.
>>> Floyd Landis says cycling is not clean in post-Armstrong era
He said: “I want to stress that I acknowledge and fully accept that a lot of mistakes have been made in the past.
“There are a lot of things I wish I could have done differently, and there are certain actions I now deeply regret.
“The period I lived through, both as a cyclist and as a team director, was very different than it is today.”
He added: “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.
“We didn’t always make the best choices.”
Bruyneel refers to himself on Twitter as the “proud ex-manager of my dear friend Lance Armstrong, winner of seven Tours de France. No hypocrite.”
In its case against Armstrong in 2012, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) showed that the Belgian helped and encouraged his riders at teams US Postal Service and Discovery Channel to dope.
Doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer, Jose ‘Pepe’ Martí were banned for eight years each at the time.
Armstrong was banned from cycling for life and stripped of his seven Tour titles.
Bruyneel’s ban was due to end on June 11, 2022.
The ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport said: “From 1997 to 2007, Messrs Bruyneel, Marti and Celaya participated in an elaborate and highly successful doping scheme with Mr Bruyneel at the apex of a multitude of doping violations and Mr Marti and Dr Celaya as the indispensable participants in this widespread and systematic doping program.
“The CAS panel unanimously concluded that in the circumstances, lifetime ineligibility was an appropriate sanction for Messrs Bruyneel and Celaya, and that period of ineligibility of 15 years was appropriate for Mr Marti.”
>>> Spanish court permits release of Operation Puerto blood bags to Italian Olympic Committee
Bruyneel was informed of his lifetime ban in an email from the CAS on Wednesday afternoon.
The 54-year-old raised issue with the process in his statement.
He claims that USADA have “no jurisdiction” over him as a Belgian citizen living in Spain.
Bruyneel added: “This whole process has been a difficult, very painful and complicated learning process for myself, but after too long a time, it is now time for me to move on.
“I can finally close this chapter and focus on the positive things in my future.
“After everything that happened, and I repeat, many things I regret, I still love cycling with the same passion and intensity I had when I fell in love with it as a 14-year-old boy.
“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.”
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
Specialized releases pro-race winning Roval Rapide Cockpit
Integrated rated Roval bar and stem has already seen multiple wins on bikes of Demi Vollering and Fabio Jakobsen this season
By Joe Baker • Published
Tour de France: Unchained episode by episode guide
The Cycling Weekly guide to all eight episodes of the Netflix show, from Copenhagen to Paris
By Adam Becket • Published
'We are not cheaters' says Belgian rider Shari Bossuyt after anti-doping positive
The Canyon-SRAM rider tested positive for Letrozole in an anti-doping control in March
By Tom Davidson • Published
"Failing that drug test was the best thing that had ever happened to me"
Abuse victim and disgraced cycling champion Geneviève Jeanson finds solace in return to bike racing
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
29 cases of alleged doping recorded in cycling in 2022, but only one at WorldTour
Most came from semi-professional ranks, MPCC finds
By Tom Davidson • Published
Spanish police crack down on doping ring, former Kelme coach questioned
Miguel Ángel López denies any involvement in statement
By Adam Becket • Last updated
UCI suspends continental team's licence due to doping investigation
W52-FC Porto cannot compete in any races after an investigation conducted by the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal
By Ryan Dabbs • Last updated
Trial begins into French doctor and two others accused of attempting to dope cyclists
Bernand Sainz has been involved in cycling circles for the best part of six decades
By Chris Marshall-Bell • Published
Johan Bruyneel: 'Lance Armstrong was the perfect target to be sacrificed' to clean up cycling
The former rider and team boss says in his era the choice was 'either you adapt and you dope yourself, or you disappear'
By Jonny Long • Published
British Paralympic hopeful cyclist banned for three years for doping offence
Erin McBride, who joined the British Cycling team after switching from athletics this year, tested positive for a banned substance
By Alex Ballinger • Published