AAA panel imposes ban for team director, doctor and trainer for involvement in the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team doping conspiracy
Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 22, 2014)- USADA announced today that a three-member, independent panel of the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), rendered its decision in the case of Johan Bruyneel (Team Director), Dr. Pedro Celaya (Team Doctor) and Jose “Pepe” Martí (Team Trainer), finding that all three committed multiple anti-doping rule violations over many years.
The Panel found that “the evidence establishes conclusively that Mr. Bruyneel was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the USPS and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders. Similarly, Dr. Celaya and Mr. Martí were part of, or at least allowed themselves to be used as instruments of, that conspiracy.”
“From the beginning, our investigation has focused on ridding cycling of those entrusted to care for the well-being of athletes who abuse their position of trust and influence to assist or encourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs to defraud sport and clean athletes,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “There is no excuse for any team director, doctor or other athlete support person who corrupts the very sport and the athletes they are supposed to protect.”
The Panel imposed a ten-year ban for Bruyneel, and eight-year bans for Celaya and Martí as the result of their roles in the USPS Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy.
These three suspended individuals, together with the previously suspended Dr. Michele Ferrari, from Ferrara, Italy and Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, of València, Spain (who each received lifetime suspensions), makes a total of five athlete support personnel from the USPS Pro Cycling Team to be suspended for anti-doping rule violations for their participation in the USPS Pro Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy.
The Panel found that Bruyneel trafficked in performance-enhancing drugs and “was engaged in the allocation of team-related resources… causing a variety of prohibited doping substances and methods to be used expressly for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage for the teams and cyclists he managed in cycling events.” In addition, the Panel found that Bruyneel himself “profited considerably from the successes of the teams and riders he managed during the relevant period.” Bruyneel encouraged athletes to use doping products including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, and cortisone. Bruyneel, who currently lives in London, is a former Belgian cyclist who, after a long career as a cyclist on pro teams, was USPS team director from1999- 2007(team name was changed to the Discovery Channel Cycling Team for the period 2005-2007 due to a change in sponsorship). During 2008-2009 Bruyneel was Director of the Astana Cycling Team. Beginning in 2010 he became the Team Director (or Team Manager) for the RadioShack Team where he continued to work until USADA’s case was initiated.
Dr. Pedro Celaya is a Spanish doctor who worked in professional cycling as a Team Doctor for over a decade and currently lives in Elorrio, Spain. The Panel found that Dr. Celaya possessed and administered doping products, including EPO, blood transfusions, and cortisone. Celaya was a Team Doctor for the USPS/ Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team from 1997 through 1998 and from 2004 through 2007. During all or part of the period from 1999 through 2003 Dr. Celaya was a Team Doctor for the ONCE cycling team. Dr. Celaya continued to work in cycling as a Team Doctor for the RadioShack Nissan Trek Cycling Team until USADA’s case was initiated.
Jose “Pepe” Marti also was employed in professional cycling for over a decade and currently resides in València, Spain. The Panel found that Martí, a Team Trainer, trafficked performance enhancing drugs, including EPO, hGH, testosterone and cortisone to riders. Martí was involved in administering injections of EPO, testosterone, and hGH and in transfusing blood to riders. Martí worked with the USPS and Discovery Channel Cycling Teams during the period from 1999 through 2007 and thereafter worked with the Astana Cycling Team. Most recently, Martí had worked for the Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team until after USADA’s case was initiated.
Bruyneel, Celaya and Martí all chose to exercise their right to have their cases heard collectively by a panel of three independent arbitrators. Following a lengthy pre-hearing process including various motions filed by the respondents’ legal team, the four day evidentiary hearing took place in London, England in December of 2013. The hearing was held in London at the request of Bruyneel, Celaya and Martí for their convenience. Bruyneel, Celaya and Marti were collectively represented by seven lawyers at the hearing. At the hearing, extensive and detailed evidence was presented to the Panel, and testimony was received from 17 witnesses, 14 of which were principally fact witnesses, including 8 cyclists, and 3 of which were expert witnesses. All of the witnesses testified under oath, and were subject to cross examination.
Bruyneel refused to testify and presented no fact witnesses on his own behalf. Martí likewise refused to testify. Dr. Celaya did testify before the Panel and was subject to cross examination at the hearing. The Panel concluded that Dr. Celaya was not “a credible witness in this case.”
The Panel confirmed that, in accordance with the Code and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules (UCI ADR), USADA had authority to bring these cases, because USADA discovered the violations.
The AAA decision will be available on the USADA website at https://www.usada.org/arbitration-decisions/
Bruyneel’s sanction will end June 11, 2022 and Celaya and Martí’s sanctions will end on June 11, 2020.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
- American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA) Anti-Doping Cycling United States of America (USA) US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)