23 Apr 2014

Team staff linked to Armstrong doping get long bans

11:49 am on 23 April 2014

Lance Armstrong's former cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti have all been handed long bans from sport for their involvement in doping.

Bruyneel was banned for 10 years, while Celaya and Marti got eight-year bans after the decision by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The trio all worked for Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team, which changed its name to Discovery Channel after a change of sponsors in 2005, and opted for arbitration when the charges were originally levelled against them in June 2012.

American Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban for doping in 2012, finally admitting his use of banned substances in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

Two other doctors connected to the team, Spaniard Luis Garcia del Moral and Italian Michele Ferrari, were handed lifetime bans from professional sport by the United States Anti-Doping Agency USADA in July 2012.

USADA's 2012 report said the USPS team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen".

Belgian Bruyneel is a former professional cyclist who was team manager for all of Armstrong's seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005.