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Lance Armstrong’s former team director banned for life

2009 Tour Down Under - Stage Six

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Lance Armstrong of the USA, riding for Team Astana, speaks with Astana team director Johan Bruyneel before the start of stage six of the 2009 Tour Down Under January 25, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Johan Bruyneel, the director of Lance Armstrong‘s cycling teams for all seven of his stripped Tour de France titles, had his 10-year ban from sport for doping involvement increased to the rest of his life by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The CAS decision came after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency, supported by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. They sought to lengthen the original arbitration court’s 2014 ruling of a ban through June 11, 2022.

Pedro Celaya, a doctor for Armstrong’s U.S. Postal cycling teams, and Pepe Marti, a trainer for U.S. Postal teams, also had their bans increased from eight years to life and from eight years to 15 years, respectively.

“There’s effectively nothing I can do against this sanction -- and at 54 years of age, a 10-year ban or a life time ban is practically the same,” was posted on Bruyneel’s social media in a letter highlighting elements of his case he found “incredibly frustrating.”

“This whole process has been a difficult, very painful and complicated learning process for myself, but after a long time, it is now time for me to move on,” the letter read. “I can finally close this chapter and focus on the positive things in my future.”

Bruyneel encouraged athletes to use performance-enhancing products such as EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone, according to the panel that first banned Bruyneel in 2014.

“I do not dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different,” a Bruyneel blog post read in response in 2014. “Nor do I dispute that doping was a fact of life in the peloton for a considerable period of time. However, a very small minority of us has been used as scapegoats for an entire generation.”

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