Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Bruyneel loses his appeal over Tour de France Twitter rant

AP, LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team will be without manager Johan Bruyneel for important races in March after he lost an appeal to change the start date of a suspension imposed because he insulted officials at the Tour de France.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said yesterday it dismissed Bruyneel’s challenge to an International Cycling Union ruling which ordered him to serve his two-month ban next month and March.

The full reasons for the court’s emergency decision would be published later, the CAS said in a statement.

Bruyneel wanted the suspension applied this month and next month before the top-tier European road races begin.

STAGE RACES

A ban through March forces Bruyneel to miss three stage races, including Paris-Nice, and one-day classics Milano-Sanremo and Gent-Wevelgem.

However, Bruyneel can work with Armstrong at the Jan. 16 to Jan. 23 Tour Down Under in Australia, which is scheduled to be the seven-time Tour de France winner’s farewell professional ride outside the US.

Armstrong rode his final Tour de France in July and was involved in a controversy before the final stage to Paris.

RadioShack riders arrived at the start line wearing black jerseys with “28” on the back to support Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation. The number honored the 28 million people worldwide fighting cancer.

UNOFFICIAL UNIFORM

Bruyneel’s team did not seek permission to wear the unofficial uniform and the stage start was delayed by 20 minutes while the riders changed into approved jerseys.

The Belgian manager posted a message on Twitter that Tour de France officials “don’t need brains,” though he soon removed the post and apologized.

The International Cycling Union, which said the delayed start jeopardized broadcasters’ schedules, ruled in October that Bruyneel insulted officials. It imposed a two-month ban and fined him 10,000 Swiss francs (US$10,167).

Armstrong and his teammates were each fined 2,500 Swiss francs.

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