COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (VN) — His name has come and gone during the bonfire of Lance Armstrong. He was someone intertwined with the Texan’s seven wins perhaps more so than anyone else, but Johan Bruyneel’s day in arbitration has yet to come. Will it ever?
Bruyneel directed Armstrong to his now-erased seven Tour de France wins; the two of them toasting champagne on the Champs Élysées became commonplace, but the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency painted a far more sinister picture of the pair, with Armstrong a doped-up general and Bruyneel a vital piece of infantry in the war to remain ahead of the field, both on the road and off.
Bruyneel has since said he’s planning on writing a book on the U.S. Postal Service doping days, and that he will contest the charges against him if he thinks it a fair fight. Armstrong chose not to fight his charges, and curtains have been falling ever since, over now-stripped Tour wins, over endorsements, even over his seat at his own charity’s table.
Bruyneel, according to USADA, was to appear at a hearing sometime before the end of 2012, though that never came to fruition. It’s unclear now where the Belgian’s case stands. When contacted late last week, a USADA spokesperson said the organization could not comment on ongoing cases.
USADA outlined Bruyneel’s alleged possession of blood bags and needles, trafficking of EPO and other drugs, administration of the substances, and covering up of the uses in a June 12, 2012 charging letter.
“With respect to Mr. Bruyneel, numerous riders will testify that Mr. Bruyneel gave to them and/or encouraged them to use doping products and/or prohibited methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2007,” read USADA’s initial letter detailing the charges.
Bruyneel sat out last year’s Tour de France and left his post atop RadioShack-Leopard as the Armstrong case simmered.