/ Cycling

Lance Armstrong staff get doping bans

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 11:41 | Comments

Those given the ban were Lance Armstrong's former team manager, doctor and trainer, respectively
Those given the ban were Lance Armstrong's former team manager, doctor and trainer, respectively

Lance Armstrong's former cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti have all been handed long bans from sport for their involvement in doping, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Tuesday.

Bruyneel was banned for 10 years, while Celaya and Marti got eight-year bans after the decision by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), USADA said in a statement.

All three worked for the US Postal Service team and opted for arbitration when the charges were levelled against them in 2012.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban for doping the same year.

A USADA statement read: "All three committed multiple anti-doping rule violations over many years.

"The panel found that 'the evidence establishes conclusively that Mr Bruyneel was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the USPS and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders.

"'Similarly, Dr Celaya and Mr Marti were part of, or at least allowed themselves to be used as instruments of, that conspiracy'."

Belgian Bruyneel responded in his personal blog, while questioning USADA's jurisdiction over him and raising the prospect of challenging his ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"I do not dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different," Bruyneel, who refused to testify at the arbitration hearing, wrote on johanbruyneel.com.

"Nor do I dispute that doping was a fact of life in the peloton for a considerable period of time.

"However, a very small minority of us has 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."

Bruyneel was found to have trafficked performance-enhancing drugs, encouraged their use and to have profited from the success of his riders during a doping-ravaged period in the professional peloton.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip