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“Bullshit!” Johan Bruyneel on Greg LeMond’s insistence he won the Tour de France clean

Lance Armstrong’s former boss, serving lifetime ban, also hits out at Bjarne Riis’s return to the sport

Johan ​Bruyneel says that Greg LeMond’s insistence that he won the Tour de France clean is “bullshit!” The man who guided Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles before both were banned from the sport for life for their part in the US Postal Service team doping scandal, also hit out at Bjarne Riis’s recent return to cycling.

> Johan Bruyneel told to repay $1.2m as government case that also involved Lance Armstrong over misuse of US Postal sponsorship funds ends

In an interview with the Belgian weekly magazine Humo, Bruyneel attacked three-time Tour de France winner LeMond, one of Armstrong’s most vociferous critics well before the results of the United States Anti Doping Agency sanctioned the Texan in August 2012 and took away his seven victories in the race.

Winner of the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and world road champion in 1983 and 1989, LeMond has spoken out against doping since his racing days and has continued to campaign on the issue since retiring.

> Mechanical doping: “I won’t trust any victories of the Tour de France,” says Greg LeMond

“Greg LeMond always says that he is the only clean winner,” insisted Bruyneel, aged 55. “That’s a load of bullshit! He always rode for French teams who were the kings of cortisone.

“You can’t beat the best in the world who are doping without taking something yourself. LeMond was the best of his generation, just like Hinault Anquetil, Merckx, and Indurain,” Bruyneel continued. “And Lance Armstrong too!”

Bruyneel also slammed the managers of France’s leading professional teams – Marc Madiot, Vincent Lavenu et Jean-René Bernaudeau of, respectively, Groupama-FDJ, AG2R-La Mondiale and Total-Direct Energie, saying that they “continue to judge my past while everything they have done has been pardoned.”

He was particularly scathing about Bjarne Riis, who returned to the sport this year as manager of the NTT team and who, in 2007, admitted having doped his way to Tour de France victory in 1996 but has never been sanctioned for it.

“He deserves a second chance, the facts go back a long way, and happily he has the second chance because he certainly won’t make the same mistakes,” said Bruyneel, who is currently working as a sports consultant.

“I’m in the same situation as him but, when they want your head, you don’t stand a chance, he added.”

> Bjarne Riis calls Dave Brailsford “selfish” over Tour de France comments

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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