Bruyneel’s appeal against date of his suspension rejected by CAS
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Bruyneel’s appeal against date of his suspension rejected by CAS

by Shane Stokes at 5:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian’s ban will run between February 1st and March 31st

Johan BruyneelTeam RadioShack general manager Johan Bruyneel has had his appeal against the dates of his UCI suspension rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning that he will be unable to work on races in February and March.

On October 29th, Bruyneel was 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 from Team RadioShack started the final stage in black jerseys bearing the logo ‘28’, signifying the number of millions of people worldwide living with cancer, but it didn’t seek UCI permission beforehand.

Teams are permitted one-off changes of team kit provided they apply to the UCI; RadioShack didn’t do so, leading to some speculation that the move was 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. They then put the jerseys back on for the podium ceremony in Paris, breaking the rules again.

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.”

Having been handed that fine plus the two month ban, Bruyneel appealed the date of the suspension to CAS earlier this month. He indicated to that he couldn’t understand why the UCI gave Spanish rider Carlos Barredo a sanction from January 1st to February 28th for his attack on Rui Costa (Caisse d’Epargne) during the Tour, but his own suspension started a month later.

“I have asked the International Cycling Union to give me the same period, but they didn't listen to me,” he said. “Therefore I will now go to the CAS. For me it is primarily a matter of principle now.”

Yesterday’s CAS announcement was brief and didn’t explain the reasons for its ruling. Those will be released at a later date.

“The UCI imposed such suspension due to the fact that Radioshack violated the regulations by wearing an unauthorised jersey in the last stage of the Tour de France 2010,” it stated. “Johan Bruyneel had appealed the timing of his suspension to the CAS asking for his ban to start on 1 January 2011 instead of 1 February 2011.

“The CAS communicated its decision earlier today after an expedited arbitration procedure. The award with reasons will be published in a few weeks.”

As Bruyneel is permitted to work on races in January, he will be able to accompany Lance Armstrong to the Tour Down Under in Australia. It is Armstrong’s final big race outside the US, and so it was somewhat unexpected that Bruyneel would appeal the UCI ruling.


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