AUSTIN, Texas, July 14, 2012 (AFP) – Lance Armstrong’s former team manager
Johan Bruyneel will fight his case in arbitration rather than accept penalties
for allegedly engaging in a long-running doping conspiracy, the US Anti-Doping
Agency said Friday.
“Mr. Bruyneel has requested to move forward in the process and have his
case heard at an arbitration hearing, which can be open to the public,” USADA
said in a statement.
“As in all cases, during the arbitration hearing, all the evidence will be
presented, witness testimony will be subject to cross examination and will be
given under oath, and an independent panel of arbitrators will ultimately
determine the outcome of the case.”
Bruyneel faces a possible lifetime ban in the case, which could eventually
go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Bruyneel was in charge of Armstrong’s US Postal Service and Discovery
Channel teams when Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005.
USADA claims it has witnesses to the fact that Armstrong and five former
cycling team associates — including Italian doctor Michele Ferrari and
Bruyneel — engaged in a doping conspiracy from 1998-2011.
The USADA last month announced that it had brought charges against
Armstrong for doping, charges that if proven could see the American stripped
of his seven Tour de France titles with the Belgian-born Bruyneel as manager.
Ferrari was among three other medical staff and consultants on those teams
who were handed lifetime bans by USADA this week after they failed to contest
Armstrong, who has vigorously denied doping during his career, has sued
USADA in US federal court saying the agency’s process violates his US
constitutional rights, and that USADA doesn’t have jurisdiction in the case.
While that lawsuit is pending, Armstrong has been granted an extension by
USADA to the usual deadline to contest the agency’s findings.
Bruyneel, the team manager of the RadioShack team which is currently racing
the Tour de France, didn’t travel with his team to the Tour in light of the
charges, although he has denied wrongdoing.