Lance Armstrong’s former manager sets up sports management company


JoHAN Bruyneel—the former team manager of uS Postal, Astana and RadioShack, who helped guide lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles before they were struck from the record books for doping—has launched a new sports management company.

The Belgian, who is banned from direct involvemen­t in pro cycling and all other World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) sports for life, has named his new venture 7evenPlusT­wo. The company aims to work with athletes in a number of ways, including brand management, contract negotiatio­ns and life planning, as well as offering event organizati­on and promotion services.

The company name 7evenPlusT­wo refers to the number of Tours de France Bruyneel won as team manager, including the seven vacated titles which were won thanks to “the most sophistica­ted, profession­alized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” in the words of uS Anti-Doping Agency.

on the company web site, 7evenPlusT­wo is posited as an “internatio­nal sports marketing and strategy agency.”

“We manage sporting assets from large scale sporting events and their associated brands to life plans for individual athletes,”the web site reads.

“our work with teams in all sorts of sports focuses on developing winning strategies, helping to turn good teams into great teams. our strategies help individual athletes become sporting legends.

“Sport is big business, so we work with sponsors, rights owners, government­s and internatio­nal sporting organizati­ons to create profitable world-class sporting spectacles.

It is as yet unclear whether the new company has any clients, though 7evenPlusT­wo appears to be pitched at athletes, event organizers, as well as sports team owners, current and prospectiv­e.

In 2014, the American Arbitratio­n Associatio­n banned Bruyneel from any involvemen­t in profession­al cycling for a 10-year period. A failed appeal to the Court of Arbitratio­n for Sport in 2018 resulted in his ban being extended to a lifetime ban, upon which Bruyneel remarked that: “We were all children of our era, facing the pitfalls and temptation­s that were part of the culture at the time. We didn’t always make the best choices.

“In spite of the CAS decision, it is still my goal and my wish to contribute, to help grow my sport and make it better in the years ahead.”

News of Bruyneel’s new venture raises questions about his eligibilit­y to run a company of this nature, and presumably work directly with current athletes, considerin­g his lifetime ban.

The current Wada Code and uCI Anti-Doping Rules (Articles 10.12) state that:

“No athlete or other person who has been declared ineligible may, during the period of ineligibil­ity, participat­e in any capacity in a competitio­n or activity authorized or organized by any signatory, signatory’s member-organizati­on, or a club or other member-organizati­on, or in competitio­ns authorized or organized by any profession­al league, or any internatio­nal- or national-level event organizati­on or any elite- or national-level sporting activity funded by a government agency.”

In recent years, similar questions were raised when Bruyneel’s former team leader lance Armstrong hosted a podcast at the Tour de France, and appeared on NBC Sports’ television coverage of the race. The uCI told Cyclingnew­s that his work at the race did not violate the terms of his own lifetime ban.

As of last october, the uS government was still waiting for Bruyneel to pay $1.2 million as part of Floyd landis whistle-blower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The Belgian was adjudged to have been “unjustly enriched by his fraud”during his time as manager of uS Postal Service team. Armstrong, meanwhile, was last in the news offering a five-day cycling holiday in Mallorca in late September. The trip, cohosted by former teammate George Hincapie, is set to cost up to 12 guests $30,000 each.

 ??  ?? Johan BruyneeL, banned from pro cycling for life, launches 7evenPlust­wo.
Johan BruyneeL, banned from pro cycling for life, launches 7evenPlust­wo.

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