25th October 2018
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered a decision covering three appeals that were filed against the decision issued by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) on 21 April 2014 in the case of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) v. Johan Bruyneel, Pedro Celaya Lezama and Jose Martí Martí (the “Challenged Decision”).
In the Challenged Decision, the AAA imposed a period of ineligibility of 10 years on Johan Bruyneel, former manager/sporting director of various professional cycling teams, and 8 years each for Pedro Celaya Lezama, team physician, and Jose Martí Martí, team trainer, following an investigation into multiple alleged doping rule violations in the sport of cycling.
The CAS appeal arbitration procedures concerned are:
- Johan Bruyneel v USADA;
- Jose Martí Martí v USADA; and
- World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) v Johan Bruyneel, Pedro Celaya Lezama, Jose Martí Martí and USADA
The CAS Panel has issued its final decision covering the three appeals, denying the appeals filed by Johan Bruyneel and Jose Martí Martí and partially upholding WADA’s appeal. The Challenged Decision is modified to the extent that Johan Bruyneel and Pedro Celaya Lezama’s periods of ineligibility shall be for a lifetime and Jose Martí Martí’s period of ineligibility shall be for 15 years.
Given the interrelated nature of the appeals before the CAS, they were consolidated and referred to the same Panel of arbitrators: the Hon. L. Yves Fortier QC (Canada), President, Prof. Philippe Sands QC (UK) and Dr Hans Nater (Switzerland). A hearing on the merits was held in October 2016 at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The CAS Panel found that the totality of the evidence presented before it painted a very clear picture: from 1997 to 2007, Messrs Bruyneel, Martí and Celaya participated in an elaborate and highly successful doping scheme with Mr Bruyneel at the apex of a multitude of doping violations and Mr Martí and Dr Celaya as the indispensable participants in this widespread and systematic doping program. The CAS Panel unanimously concluded that in the circumstances, lifetime ineligibility was an appropriate sanction for Messrs Bruyneel and Celaya, and that a period of ineligibility of 15 years was appropriate for Mr Martí.