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Lance Armstrong’s Former Sports Director Receives Lifetime Suspension After Team Doctor Snitches on Him
November 1st, 2018
Former U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel Banned from Cycling for Life
Johan Bruyneel, the Director Sportif for professional cycling teams starring Lance Armstrong during all seven of his Tour de France victories, was originally suspended from any type of involvement in cycling competition for a period of 10 years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012.
Six years later, the 10 year ban has been increased to a lifetime ban thanks to the testimony provided a former team doctor who snitched on him in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, a Spanish physician who worked as the team doctor for the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, agreed to fully cooperate with USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016. Garcia del Moral had previously received a lifetime ban for his role in the USPS Pro Cycling doping scandal.
Lance Armstrong’s former team director calls Luis Garcia del Moral an ‘authentic rat’
Bruyneel has called Garcia del Moral an “authentic rat” in a Spanish-language interview with donDiario.com. (Bruyneel is Belgium but currently lives in Spain.)
“That person is what we call an authentic ‘rat’, although his nickname was ‘the cat’. He is Machiavellian and lugubrious person,” according to an English translation of comments made by Bruyneel. “And to make matters worse, he confessed that he was doping young people before joining US Postal, and also that he doped cyclists years after leaving the team.”
Garcia del Moral was promised that his lifetime suspension would be revoked if he fully cooperated and testified against Bruyneel and two other individuals before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) .
Garcia del Moral’s testimony and email correspondences were critical evidence in support of a lifetime ban for Bruyneel and Pedro Celaya Lemaza and a 15-year ban for Pepe Marti according to CAS. (Celaya and Marti also played major roles in the USPS Pro Cycling Team doping program.)
Garcia del Moral was rewarded for snitching as promised. USADA revoked Garcia del Moral’s lifetime suspension immediately after the lifetime suspensions of Bruyneel, Celaya and Marti were announced by CAS on October 24, 2018.
Bruyneel has not denied the the occurrence of doping in pro cycling and, more specifically, on the teams he managed. However, Bruyneel characterized USADA’s narrative as a “Hollywood version of events”.
“I have said from the beginning that this American agency had no jurisdiction over me,” Bruyneel said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I am a Belgian citizen, living in Spain, and I have never had any contractual agreement, let alone an arbitration agreement, with USADA. Yet this agency disregarded all normal judicial limitations to crucify me, making me a key protagonist in their Hollywood version of events.”
USADA CEO Travis Tygart gleefully celebrated Bruyneel’s extended suspension. He also criticized him for promoting a “false narrative”.
“Here, Bruyneel, Celaya, and Marti pulled out every trick to avoid the truth and continued, even at the hearing and even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to present a false narrative.
“This is another example that playing by the rules matters and doping is never justified and always inexcusable.”
In spite of USADA and CAS attempts to make Bruyneel a scapegoat for the rampant doping that occurred in the 1990s and 2000s, Bruyneel still has many fans. And one of his biggest fans is Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong called Bruyneel “the greatest cycling sports director of all time without a doubt” during his THEMOVE podcast on October 31, 2018.
“Welcome to the show my good friend, the greatest cycling sports director of all time without a doubt, I don’t give a shit what anybody says, Johan Bruyneel."