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As his anticipated hearing draws nearer, mum’s the word on Johan Bruyneel, at least from the agency looking to ban him from the sport for life.
Bruyneel infamously guided Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France wins on three different teams (those victories are now stripped) and took a battering in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision, which alleged he and other key staff members engaged in a deep doping conspiracy.
In late October, it was reported that Bruyneel and team doctors Pedro Celaya and Jose “Pepe” Marti would face arbitration in London, from December 16-20. But as of December 10 — Tuesday — USADA would not issue a comment on the hearing, and several weeks ago another source indicated that the matter, at least in regard to Bruyneel, wasn’t expected to see the light of day.
RadioShack’s former manager also recently told a broadcaster he was “done” with the sport.
Either way, Bruyneel has proven elusive thus far. As far back as last winter, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said he though the Belgian would appear before a panel by the start of 2013. The charges, and seemingly the anecdotal evidence, against Bruyneel appear substantial, at least according to USADA.
“With respect to Mr. Bruyneel, numerous riders will testify that Mr. Bruyneel gave to them and/or encouraged them to use doping products and/or prohibited methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HGH and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2007,” USADA claimed in its initial document. “Riders and other witnesses will also testify that Bruyneel worked actively to conceal rule violations by himself and others throughout the period from 1999 through the present.”
USADA alleged a massive, 14-year doping violation that it labeled a “USPS conspiracy.”
Bruyneel has said he plans to write a book to set his version of events in front of the public, “to put everything into the right context and correct the false image that the USADA report, the media, and people like Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis have given.”