Johan Bruyneel says he will not be watching the recent Lance Armstrong documentary as he “already knows what happened”.
The 55-year-old Belgian is currently serving a lifetime ban from cycling for his role in the doping scandal that saw Armstrong stripped of his seven Tour de France victories, with the Texan’s career and doping having been the subject of an ESPN ’30 for 30′ documentary, titled ‘Lance’.
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“In addition, I don’t feel like listening to musicians such as Jonathan Vaughters, Tyler Hamilton or Betsy Andreu again,” Bruyneel explained to Het Laatste Nieuws. “I haven’t seen a documentary or film about Armstrong anyway. So much has already been said or written that everyone can now form their own opinion.”
Armstrong has also said he’s not a fan of the film, which was shown to him at his home in Austin, Texas, by director Marina Zenovich in December 2019, with Armstrong taking objection to the Greg LeMond portion of the documentary, where the American is quoted saying Lance’s story is either “the greatest comeback in the history of sport” or “the greatest fraud”. Armstrong then didn’t show up to the film’s premiere in January 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival.
Emma O’Reilly, the soigneur turned whistleblower who became a central figure in the Armstrong doping scandal, has also tweeted her thanks for the 48-year-old American’s apology in the documentary, asking people to now move on.
“After the doc, I’d like to say it was nice of Lance Armstrong to once again apologise. But it’s done, it was done between him and I and Johan Bruyneel years ago. I’m really tired of all the haters. Can we just move on and show a bit of compassion to our fellow men.”
At the time of his suspension, Bruyneel said he regretted his actions but that his lifetime ban was too severe, saying: “I have now accepted it. I take responsibility for what happened and I regret it. But I should never have been suspended for life…”
In March 2020, Bruyneel revealed he sought psychological help in the aftermath of the 2012 USADA report that placed the Belgian at the centre of the US Postal Service’s doping operation.
“It was a major lesson in life. I’m now a different person. 20 years older and 20 years wiser. Sometimes, I have the feeling that I’d really hit rock bottom and that I’d never recover. I was given medical help, both mental and physical, throughout that time,” Bruyneel told Cycling Opinions.
Bruyneel went on to say he is more regretful of the way he and his team behaved, rather than the actual doping, adding that using performance-enhancing drugs was “inevitable” at that time and might still be today.