Johan Bruyneel, Team RadioShack and Carlos Barredo sanctioned over Tour de France incidents
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Johan Bruyneel, Team RadioShack and Carlos Barredo sanctioned over Tour de France incidents

by Shane Stokes at 11:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Two month bans for Bruyneel and Barredo

Johan BruyneelRadioShack general manager Johan Bruyneel has been hit with a two month ban and a fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) as a result of the jersey infringements during the 2010 Tour de France. The riders who wore the unauthorised black jersey will have to pay 2,500 CHF each, while the others sports directors who were present must hand over double that amount.

The team decided to ditch the standard RadioShack jersey on the final day of the Tour de France, riding instead in a jersey bearing the number 28, signifying the amount of millions of people worldwide with cancer. Some saw it as a worthwhile effort to raise awareness, while others saw it as publicising by Armstrong and his Livestrong foundation after an otherwise quiet Tour.

It was pointed out afterwards that teams are allowed one-off changes of team kit provided they apply to the UCI; the fact that Bruyneel and the rest of the management didn’t explore this option increased speculation that the move was deliberately intended to generate controversy and thus generate the maximum amount of publicity.

The riders were instructed to stop and remove the jerseys, causing a considerable amount of television time to be devoted to the incident.

“The riders of the RadioShack team infringed art. 12.1.004 of the UCI Regulations during the last stage of the Tour de France 2010, related to the wearing of a non authorised jersey,” said the UCI in a release issued this afternoon. “In addition, Mr J. Bruyneel publicly offended the UCI International Commissaires with his declarations.”

Bruyneel got in hot water when he wrote a critical message on Twitter. “Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commissar[e] you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!’”

He later backtracked with a publicly-released apology. “When race officials informed me that the team wouldn't be able to race with these special jerseys, I became frustrated that our message would not be heard and seen around the world,” he wrote. “During this time of frustration, I put a disrespectful and unprofessional message on my personal Twitter account targeting the UCI race officials. This was not the correct way to handle the situation, nor the example I want to set for my team, family and fans.

“I understand the race officials' decision and publicly apologize for offending any official or representative of the UCI. It is also my intent to personally apologize to UCI President Pat McQuaid for my remarks.” Those apologies were not enough to prevent punishment.

Another facing disciplinary action is the Spanish rider Carlos Barredo, who struck fellow rider Rui Costa (Caisse d’Epargne) after the finish of stage six of the Tour.

Barredo wielded a front wheel in his attack on the Portuguese rider, hitting him with it. He claimed that Costa elbowed him with approximately 20 kilometres to go. After being hit by the wheel, Costa punched back in self defence; both riders were later fined 400 Swiss Francs, but allowed to stay in the race.

“ Mr C. [Carlos] Barredo infringed article 12.1.005 of the UCI Regulations (blemishing of the image, the reputation or the interests of cycling and the UCI) during the 2010 Tour de France,” stated the UCI in its release.

Bruyneel has been hit with a two month ban, starting on February 1st and running until March 31st. Barredo has a ban of the same duration, but this runs from January 1st to February 28th. The UCI did not explain why the two suspensions do not run in the same period.

By starting Bruyneel’s sanction on February 1st, it enables him to travel to the Tour Down Under and to work with Lance Armstrong in his final international event.

Barredo, on the other hand, will not be able to join his new Rabobank team in the race.

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