RadioShack Nissan team confirms Bruyneel’s time as general manager has ended
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Friday, October 12, 2012

RadioShack Nissan team confirms Bruyneel’s time as general manager has ended

by Shane Stokes at 12:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Former US Postal Service team manager removed from top role over doping investigation

Johan BruyneelConfirming an earlier story suggesting a split had occured, the RadioShack Nissan team has announced that Johan Bruyneel will no longer form any part of the management of the squad as a result of USADA’s investigation into doping in cycling.

The team’s management company Leopard SA has issued a statement confirming the termination of the contract between them.

“Acting in mutual agreement, on October 12 Leopard SA and Johan Bruyneel decided to end their collaboration. From this day on, Johan Bruyneel will no longer act in the position of General Manager of cycling team Radioshack Nissan Trek,” it said.

“The Reasoned Decision published by the USADA included a number of testimonies as a result of their investigation. In light of these testimonies, both parties feel it is necessary to make this decision since Johan Bruyneel can no longer direct the team in an efficient and comfortable way. His departure is desirable to ensure the serenity and cohesiveness within the team.”

Earlier today the team’s top Classics rider Fabian Cancellara said that he would not work with Bruyneel because of the extent of the USADA findings against him.

“Bruyneel's name appears 129 times in 200 pages. I do not know if I can work with Johan,” he told Het Laaste Nieuws, making clear that it was a case of him or Bruyneel leaving the team.

There was also tension this year between the Belgian former pro and the team’s other two big-name riders, Andy and Frank Schleck. Because of the USADA investigation, Bruyneel was not part of the management for the Tour de France, although he later returned to work with riders.

The team thanked him for his ‘dedication and devotion’ today, and said that the American investigation didn’t involve this season.

“The USADA investigation does not concern the activities of Mr. Bruyneel while managing the Radioshack Nissan Trek Team,” it stated, adding that Bruyneel continues to contest both the charges and the validity of the procedure.

In the last few minutes, Bruyneel has issued his own statement on the matter, giving his take on the split. While many will see today's decision as coming from Leopard SA after a very testing year with him at the helm, he presents it as his own decision and also criticises USADA.

“I have decided to step back from my official team activities in order to concentrate on my defence, and in order to shield the RadioShack - Nissan - Trek cycling team from unnecessary distractions,” he wrote on his website.

“I am surprised and extremely disappointed that USADA released information in the public domain relating to their pending case against me before I had been given any opportunity to review the evidence and provide my defence against it. I still hope to be able to defend myself in a forum free from bias, although I now fear that USADA’s calculated action may have irreversibly prejudiced my case.

“It is a troubling facet of USADA’s approach to this case that it appears not to respect basic principles such as the right to be heard and the presumption of innocence.”

He said that he would not comment further at this time.

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