Lance Armstrong's team director for all of the American's seven Tour de France titles, Johan Bruyneel, has been given a 10-year ban for his role in what United States Anti-Doping Agency branded “the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.
Doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti have both received eight-year bans for their involvement in the US Postal Service team's doping practices.
Bruyneel responded to the the decision made by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) on his personal blog, insisting that though he does not "dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different". He continues to question the jurisdiction of the AAA and the USADA, Cycling News reports.
The charges against the Belgian were originally brought as a part of USADA's investigation into the doping practices at the US Postal team.
On June 13, 2012, USADA charged Bruyneel - together with Armstrong, doctors Luis Garcia del Moral, Celaya and trainers Marti and Michele Ferrari - with several violations including possession of prohibited substances and/or methods (including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment, testosterone, HGH, corticosteroids and masking agents) and trafficking of the mentioned prohibited substances.
Lance Armstrong did not contest the charges and was later handed a lifetime ban but Bruyneel, together with Celaya and Marti, chose to take the matter to court.
The Belgian questioned USADA's jurisdiction claiming that they did not have the power to sanction him because of his nationality and that only the Belgian cycling authorities had these powers.
Late last year a hearing took place in London but it is understood that Bruyneel was not present.
A number of Lance Armstrong's former teammates were asked to give evidence at the hearing and are believed to have done so.
Recently surfaced evidence from a lawsuit against Armstrong revealed that the disgraced cyclist had mentioned Bruyneel as one of his accomplices and knew of and assisted Armstrong with his doping.
With the ban placed, Buyneel is considering whether to fight the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but that could prove both a lengthy and expensive process.
"I am currently debating what my next step should be. I could still challenge the decision of the AAA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, although that would again require me to put my faith in arbitration," Bruyneel wrote.
"I will shortly decide whether to keep up the fight or carry on and try to expose the hypocrisy of what USADA has put me and others through."
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