Johan Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong’s team manager on the American’s seven Tour de France wins, has left RadioShack Nissan after being implicated in his former protege’s doping scandal, the team said on Friday.
Bruyneel was named in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report released this week which said he was one of the people who had helped Armstrong organize doping within the U.S. Postal Team.
“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,” a team statement read.
“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.”
Belgian Bruyneel was Armstrong’s team manager when the Texan won his seven Tours from 1999-2005 as well as during his two Tour rides in 2009 and 2010 after his comeback from a 3-1/2 year retirement.
“The overwhelming evidence in this case is that Johan Bruyneel was intimately involved in all significant details of the US Postal team’s doping program,” the USADA report said..
A former professional rider, who finished seventh overall in the 1993 Tour de France, Bruyneel helped Armstrong to his seven Tour titles and Spaniard Alberto Contador to his two Tour wins in 2007 and 2009.
As a team manager, Bruyneel also won the Tour of Spain twice with Spain’s Roberto Heras in 2003 and Contador in 2008, as well as the Giro d’Italia twice with Italian Paolo Savoldelli in 2005 and Contador in 2008.
Radioshack, the team launched by Armstrong in 2010, became RadioShack Nissan Trek this season after merging with Luxembourg owner Flavio Becca’s Leopard Trek outfit.
Bruyneel owns large parts of the team’s infrastructure through his management company.