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Former Lance Armstrong manager Johan Bruyneel banned from cycling for life

Team manager who helped mastermind Armstrong's seven Tour wins sees 10-year-ban extended after WADA appeal

Martin James
25 Oct 2018

Lance Armstrong’s former team manager Johan Bruyneel has been banned from cycling for life for his involvement in the doping scandal famously labelled ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen’.

Bruyneel, who rode as a pro himself in the mid-1990s, was Armstrong’s manager at both the US Postal and Discovery teams, during which time the American racked up seven straight Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.

Bruyneel had initially been hit with a 10-year ban by the US Anti Doping Agency in 2012, but following an appeal from the World Anti Doping Association (WADA), the ban has been extended to life by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

The Belgian announced the news in an open letter posted on Twitter, in which he acknowledged his mistakes but also pointed out the widespread culture of doping that existed throughout cycling at the time.

‘The World Anti Doping Agency had appealed against the original 10-year ban and instead demanded I be banned for life,’ the letter reads.

‘Their request has been granted by CAS and I am now banned for life from cycling.’

Bruyneel went on to question the validity of the original USADA ban, arguing that as a Belgian citizen living in Spain, ‘I have never had any contractual agreement, let alone an arbitration agreement, with USADA.

‘Yet this agency disregarded judicial limitations to crucify and demonize me, making me a key protagonist in their Hollywood version of events.’

However, he conceded there was nothing he could do against the decision, adding that ‘at 54 years of age, a 10-year ban or a lifetime ban is practically the same’.

‘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.’

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