Source says Bruyneel was served with subpoena by federal investigators
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Source says Bruyneel was served with subpoena by federal investigators

by Shane Stokes at 2:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Comment sought from RadioShack Nissan team

Johan BruyneelAlthough the federal investigation into Lance Armstrong and others involved in the US Postal Service team officially came to a close on February 3rd due to a ruling by United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., there are indications from California that efforts to work out exactly what took place within the team may not be at an end.

A source with knowledge of the matter has told VeloNation that RadioShack Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel was served a subpoena by federal agents when he arrived in the USA midweek.

Bruyneel was apparently summoned to meet with investigators yesterday.

Repeated attempts to contact the RadioShack Nissan squad today about the matter have gone unanswered, but a response has been sought from the team.

As is the case with those involved in the various investigations, USADA has declined to comment on the progress of its own enquiry, which continued after Birotte Jr.’s unexpected decision in February.

Contacted by VeloNation, a USADA spokesperson would only say that its ‘investigation into the sport of cycling is ongoing.’ They would not be drawn on what stage that was at or any other details.

Chief US Postal Service rider Armstrong spoke about the federal investigation in an article published by Men’s Journal this week. He described it as something which caused him a considerable amount of stress at the time.

‘The most frustrating and confusing thing I’ve ever been through,” he said of the experience. “I was miserable – if people think I was an asshole before… There were days when you just damn near crash – personally and privately.

“I had days where I thought I was f*cked,” he said, then added, “but I always thought the right decision would be made.”

When Birotte Jr.’s decision was announced, he said that there was a big weight off his mind. “I’ve never felt anything like it,” he said of his response. “With cancer, there’s never that day where they go, ‘you’re out of the woods, you are done, you’re cured.’ This was different. When that call came in, it was the most amazing feeling in my life. It was out-of-body. So intense.”

Following that decision, USADA indicated that it still considered the matter unresolved from a sporting perspective.

“Unlike the U.S. Attorney, USADA’s job is to protect clean sport rather than enforce specific criminal laws,” said its CEO Travis T. Tygart on February 3rd. “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.”

Originally started to look at doping in cycling in general and the Rock Racing team in particular, the federal investigation extended to the US Postal Service team when one of its former riders, Floyd Landis, said in May 2010 that there had been widespread doping on the squad and that Armstrong and Bruyneel had both been involved in the running of it.

This was echoed by others who had been on the team, including Frankie Andreu and Tyler Hamilton, and there were repeated reports that other riders had been subpoenaed to give evidence.

Armstrong and Bruyneel have denied any doping took place on the team.

The latter was absent from several team appointments in the US during that time, including last year’s Tour of California. According to the latest information, his return to the US has resulted in immediate attention from investigators, who are keen to determine what he knows.

In addition to the ongoing USADA process, it is understood that there may also be a separate qui tam whistleblower case. This has long been said to be on the cards, and to be separate to the federal investigation ended by Birotte Jr.

In the latest magazine, Armstrong indicated to Men’s Journal that he had enough battling. “No matter what happens, I’m finished. I’m done fighting. I’ve moved on. If there are other things that arise, I’m not contesting anything. Case closed.”

He also appeared to concede that one or more of his seven Tour de France titles could be vulnerable.

 

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