Armstrong's coach hits out

2012-08-24 12:44
Johan Bruyneel (File)

London - Lance Armstrong, who is poised to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after relinquishing his fight against drug charges, has received backing from his former team boss Johan Bruyneel.

"Today I am disappointed for Lance and for cycling in general, that things have reached such a point that Lance has had enough and no longer wants to challenge the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) campaign against him," said Bruyneel.

"Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been," he said on his website

Bruyneel was speaking hours after his friend, winner of the Tour between 1999 and 2005, dropped his challenge against the long-running campaign to prove he had used drugs while at the same time reaffirming his innocence.

The USADA has accused Bruyneel of involvement in systematic doping in his former role as sporting director of US Postal and Discovery Channel for whom Armstrong rode when winning his seven Tour titles.

"I hope that it will soon be determined that the case that USADA initiated against me should never have gotten as far as it has," the Belgian former Tour de France stage winner added.

"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."

In contrast, five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault was unsympathetic to Armstrong's plight.

"I couldn't give a damn," the French cycling icon who won the Tour in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985, told "It's his problem, not mine. This is a problem that should have been sorted out 10 or 15 years ago but which never was."

The dramatic developments on Thursday also triggered reaction from sports stars outside cycling.

Jenson Button, Formula One champion in 2009 for McLaren, wrote on Twitter: "Guilty or not the worst part is it hurts the sport of cycling."

That sentiment was echoed by Mike Tindall, the former England rugby captain and 2003 World Cup winner.

He tweeted: "The biggest loser in the Lance Armstrong affair is the sport of cycling to try and change results over the 15 years seems ridiculous".

Another England rugby international, Danny Cipriani, paid tribute to Armstrong's charity work.

"Lance Armstrong could be guilty or not... The charity work he has done is amazing. Raising over $500million for cancer. Serious witch hunt!" he wrote.

Read more on:    johan bruyneel  |  lance armstrong  |  cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Lood leads heavy Bok assault
Hosts England crash out of RWC
Cotter takes loss on the chin
'Basic' Bok plan worked well
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.