RadioShack Nissan Trek separating from manager Bruyneel

Photo: Nicolas Bouvy

(CS/str) The management of RadioShack Nissan Trek (RNT) decided in a meeting on Friday afternoon that the cycling team would separate from Johan Bruyneel after increasing pressure on the Belgian general manager.

A statement from the team said that Bruyneel and RNT had reached a "mutual agreement" to end their collaboration, saying that "Johan Bruyneel can no longer direct the Team in an efficient and comfortable way.  His departure is desirable to ensure the serenity and cohesiveness within the Team."

Bruyneel has come under scrutiny for his activities as manager of the US Postal team, as the Lance Armstrong doping case is drawing ever wider circles.

A USADA report on Armstrong's involvement in aiding and abetting doping also includes damning evidence against Bruyneel. The report indicates that Bruyneel helped organise blood transfusions, as well as warning cyclists of tests. Furthermore, he is said to have been privy to doping activities in the US Postal and later the Discovery Channel team.

In the aftermath of the publication of the report RNT cyclist Fabian Cancellara had voiced concerns over whether he would be able trust the manager in the future.

Earlier, French sports newspaper “L'Equipe” has published an article suggesting that RNT manager Johan Bruyneel doped cyclist Fränk Schleck, so that the latter would be unable to leave the team.

The paper speculates that Bruyneel gave the diuretic Xipamide to an unknowing Fränk Schleck, believing that no other team would take the cyclist on if he was suspended from the sport.

Under the headline “Fränk Schleck au coeur d'un règlement de comptes” the paper writes that this move was a kind of retribution after both Schleck brothers had made it clear they wanted to leave the team, even though both cyclists had previously publicly denied they were intending to part ways with RNT.

Additionally, the report says that Fränk would have never left the team without Andy, who is still facing problems due to an injury sustained earlier this year. The abnormal urine test and its consequences only tie Fränk further to RadioShack Nissan Trek, l'Equipe states.

Fränk Schleck has repeatedly protested his innocence in the doping scandal surrounding the Luxembourg star cyclist.

The older Schleck brother faces his second hearing with the disciplinary committee of Luxembourg's Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) on Monday, after an initial hearing was conducted on August 29.

No details of the hearings have emerged.