Bruyneel protests USADA investigation, claims innocence
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Bruyneel protests USADA investigation, claims innocence

by Shane Stokes at 1:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Belgian says he’s being pursued ‘from court to court’

Johan BruyneelAfter two days of silence on the matter, former US Postal Service manager Johan Bruyneel has protested his innocence of the doping allegations that the US Anti Doping Service has made against him and said that he had nothing to hide.

"I am dismayed that once again doping allegations have been raised against me, this time by USADA,” he said in a statement released via his website.

“Following a Department of Justice Grand Jury investigation, no charges were filed against me. It cannot be right that I or anyone else can be pursued from court to court simply because our accusers do not like the decisions made along the way and so attempt to find a court which will get them the result they want.”

The Belgian was referring to an earlier Federal investigation which was unexpected ended on February 3rd by United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.

At the time, reports emerged that the investigators themselves were stunned by the shelving of the process, and that they had only been given fifteen minutes notice of Birotte’s decision.

Bruyneel’s statement is somewhat misleading as doping is itself not a federal crime, meaning that USADA can try people for charges not covered under federal law. As a result, charges being dropped under one system does not imply innocence under the other.

USADA had made this clear at the time Birotte ended the federal case. “Unlike the U.S. Attorney, USADA’s job is to protect clean sport rather than enforce specific criminal laws,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart in a statement then. “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.”

Serious charges against Bruyneel:

USADA’s communication, which was sent this week to the Belgian via the RadioShack Nissan team address in Luxembourg, laid out specific charges against him. These are:

(1) Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfiision equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents, as described
in more detail above.

(2) Trafficking of EPO, blood transfilsions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids and masking agents as described in more detail above.

(3) Administration and/or attempted administration of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents as described in more detail above.

(4) Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicit); involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti—doping rule violations.

(5) Aggravating circumstances justifying a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction.


It added that it had witness testimony in relation to these charges. “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. Riders and other witnesses will also testify that Bruyneel worked actively to conceal rule violations by himself and others throughout the period from 1999 through the present.”

Last month a source told VeloNation that Bruyneel was issued with a subpoena upon his arrival in the US prior to the Amgen Tour of California. He was said to have been questioned there. At the time he and the team refused to comment on the matter, declining media requests for clarification of the situation.

Although he is not a US citizen, USADA has said that it has jurisdiction under UCI rules and is seeking to impose a potential lifetime ban.

Bruyneel said that he has nothing to hide. “I shall of course cooperate fully with the investigation, although I have no doubt the end result will be the same as all the other investigations over the years,” he stated.

“I have never participated in any doping activity and I am innocent of all charges."

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