Bruyneel confirms he’s opted for arbitration hearing with USADA
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bruyneel confirms he’s opted for arbitration hearing with USADA

by Shane Stokes at 7:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Former US Postal Service doctor Garcia del Moral linked to football teams

Johan BruyneelFormer US Postal Service manager Johan Bruyneel has confirmed that he has chosen to undergo an arbitration hearing in relation to the doping charges made against him by the US Anti Doping Agency.

The Belgian is one of six people who were charged last month with serious offences as part of the so-called US Postal Service Conspiracy, which dates over many years and several teams.

Under USADA’s regulations, he had to either opt for an arbitration hearing or accept the charges. The agency is pushing for lifetime bans from those concerned.

“I can confirm that I have requested an arbitration hearing in which I will contest USADA's accusations against me,” said Bruyneel in a statement.

“It is my hope that a properly constituted, impartial hearing panel will confirm that the case should never even have gotten this far. Due to the sensitive nature of legal proceedings, I have been advised that it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.”

USADA had previously announced the decision yesterday evening. It said that the hearing can be open to the public. “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.”

The other five people charged by USADA are multiple Tour winner Lance Armstrong, doctors Michele Ferrari, Luis Garcia del Moral and Pedro Celaya plus the coach Pepe Marti.

Of those, Ferrari, Garcia del Moral and Marti did not respond to USADA’s charges by this week’s deadline and have thus been given lifetime bans. Celaya has opted for arbitration, while Armstrong is currently fighting the case in a Texan court.

His legal team’s first submission in relation to that was thrown out by an unimpressed judge, who said that it contained allegations irrelevant to the case which appeared to be included solely ‘to increase media coverage of this case, and to incite public opinion against Defendants.’ Armstrong's legal team resubmitted the application and the judge is now considering the case.

In addition to going to federal courts, the anti-doping charges are also being played out in the political arena. Part of Armstrong’s legal team has long-standing links to politicians, and on Thursday US congressman Jim Sensenbrenner demanded answers from the Office of Drug Control Policy about the investigation.

Yesterday USADA got support from elsewhere in the political system when US senator and former presidential candidate John McCain issued a statement backing that investigation. He previously played a crucial role in the BALCO investigation when he helped USADA get important documents.

Garcia del Moral linked to top football clubs:

Deemed guilty this week of giving banned blood transfusions and also administering banned substances such as EPO and steroids, Garcia del Moral has a range of experience far outside working with the US Postal Service team. According to the website of the company he works for in Valencia, the Spaniard has also worked with the Spanish cycling team in the Olympic Games in Atlanta and the U.S. cycling team in the Sydney Olympics.

In January 2011 then-Garmin Cervelo directeur sportif Matt White was fired by the team for sending a previous rider Trent Lowe to Garcia del Moral for medical tests.

In addition to working with cyclists, Garcia del Moral is listed as being a medical advisor for the Barcelona, Valencia and other football clubs. Football was rumoured to have been part of Operacion Puerto but despite governing body FIFA receiving documents on the matter, no investigation was ever launched.

The site lists his credentials and achievements as the following:

- Sports Medicine Physician
- Director of the Institute of Sports Medicine of Valencia
- Medical Director for US Postal team for the first five Tour de France of Lance Armstrong
- Medical Director for the Spanish Cycling Team (93-98)- Gold and Silver Atlanta 1996
- Medical Director for the US National Cycling team in Sidney 2000 (Gold and Bronze)
- Medical Adviser for various football teams, most notably Barcelona CF and Valencia CF
- Functional assessment and advice in exercise physiology for various teams in the 32nd America’s Cup (Alinghi, Areva, Iberdrola, Luna Rossa, BMW Oracle and Victory Challenge)


His name remains on the English language version of that site despite what is now a global lifetime ban for doping.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart spoke to the EFE agency this week about the verdicts handed down against three of those charged. He revealed that Spanish authorities had been very helpful in the matter. Both Garcia del Moral and Marti are from Spain, as is Celaya.

“The Spanish Anti-Doping Agency has provided great support in the past two months to prosecute those involved. It is providing much information and USADA is also giving it a lot of information."

“Before our arrival, many U.S. athletes were living in Spain because there was no drug testing, there were many doctors who facilitated the [banned] substances and the possibility of controls was very low. Now our collaboration prevents athletes from using borders to violate anti-doping laws.”
 

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