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US authorities chase Johan Bruyneel to Spain for $1.2m fine

Joe Robinson
3 Oct 2019

Former US Postal Service team manager was found guilty of defrauding the US government after doping scandal

Representatives from the USA government have travelled to Spain to pursue former US Postal team manager Johan Bruyneel for the $1.2 million owed by the Belgian.

The former team boss of Lance Armstrong was named in the Federal False Claims Act led by ex-professional rider Floyd Landis, which found that the doping practices of the professional cycling team had defrauded the US Postal Service, a federal agency, of its $30 million sponsorship deal.

The US courts settled with Armstrong for a fee of $5 million in April 2018 and then decided on a $1.2 million fine for Bruyneel.

Reports in USA Today state that the 55-year-old is yet to pay, with the US Justice Department now hiring Spanish counsel to serve Bruyneel documents at his Madrid home demanding payment.

Bruyneel has so far ignored the demand with the US government now granting him 60 days to contest the judgement.

US government documents last month stated that: 'Spanish counsel, using a notary, attempted to personally serve Bruyneel at his residence in San Sebastián de Los Reyes, Madrid, Spain with a copy of the documentation of these proceedings listed in an index attached, in its original version in English and accompanied by their sworn translations into Spanish, in accordance with the requirements of Spanish law.

'The Spanish Notary was able to confirm that the person answering the door at the residence was Bruyneel, but Bruyneel refused to accept the documents.'

Paul Scott, attorney for Landis in the case, also told USA Today that Bruyneel could 'continue running as long as he likes' but that judgement would eventually catch up with him. Landis is due 10% of the settlement fee.

Both Bruyneel and Armstrong were banned for life for their involvement in the US Postal doping scandal that helped lead Armstrong to seven consecutive Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005. 

When handed the lifetime ban, Bruyneel said he and the team were simply 'children of our era' referring to the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in cycling at the time.