Lance Armstrong Coach Johan Bruyneel Banned for 10 Years

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 09:44 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Lance Armstrong's manager Johan Bruyneel has been banned from all professional sports for 10 years due to his involvement in doping.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), citing verdicts from a panel overseen by the American Arbitration Association.

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Bruyneel "was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the (U.S. Postal Service) and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders," USADA said in a statement.

Bruyneel did not deny his role in the doping scandal that caused the 41-year-old Armstrong to be stripped of all seven Tour de France wins and banned from competitive cycling for life by the USADA. Rather, the longtime coach said he and others on his team were being made into scapegoats for a practice that was widespread in cycling during that era, The Associated Press reported.

"I do not dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different. Nor do I dispute that doping was a fact of life in the peloton for a considerable period of time," Bruyneel said in a statement. "However, a very small minority of us has [sic] been used as scapegoats for an entire generation. There is clearly something wrong with a system that allows only six individuals to be punished as retribution for the sins of an era."

The others to whom Bruyneel refers to as being scapegoats is team doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti, who have each received eight-year bans.

During testimony in 2013, Armstrong provided the AAA panel with the names of those on his racing team that provided him with performance-enhancing drugs, which included all three men.

As a result of the four-day trial, which was held in London in December, the USADA also concluded that Bruyneel had encouraged riders to cheat for his own personal gain.

"The [AAA] panel found that Bruyneel himself 'profited considerably from the successes of the teams and riders he managed during the relevant period,'" the USADA wrote in a statement.

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In January 2013, Armstrong admitted to doping during his career and then later lying about it in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

To date, Armstrong has refused to provide sworn testimony to the USADA.

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