LOS ANGELES (AFP) — RadioShack-Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel has asserted his right to be heard by a panel of arbitrators as part of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him for doping, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirmed on 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.”
USADA last month accused the former sports director of the U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel team of taking part in a system of organized doping within teams with which Lance Armstrong won seven Tours de France. Armstrong, 40, is at the center of a case that led this week to the lifetime suspensions of three of his former colleagues, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Jose “Pepe” Martí.
On Wednesday, USADA granted Armstrong a 30-day extension to accept penalties ranging up to a lifetime ban and the loss of his winnings or to accept arbitration. The Texan filed suit against the agency on Tuesday in U.S. District Court, claiming that the USADA process violates the U.S. Constitution.
Bruyneel, Armstrong’s personal friend, was the sports director of the Texan for most of his professional career. He is currently the manager at RadioShack, but declined participation in the Tour de France this year because of this procedure, which opened in mid-June.
USADA did not confirm whether RadioShack team doctor, Pedro Celaya had requested arbitration or accepted sanction in the case. Bruyneel and Celaya were required to respond to USADA’s charging letter before Saturday July 14.