Former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel hits back at claims made that Lance Armstrong and his team may have used hidden motors in their bikes.
In a “60 Minutes” show last week, Istvan Varjas, the inventor of hidden motors, said that he was paid $2 million to supply motors in 1998 and not to speak about them for 10 years as part of the deal. The TV show then suggested the timeframe Varjas outlined about dealing with a mystery client coincided with the rise of Armstrong.
“We were tipped off in advance and they were bound after a letter from Armstrong’s lawyers,” Bruyneel told Belgian magazine Humo. “Initially, the program would have been much more aggressive,”.
“But to put force in their initial assertions, they asked Varjas to install a motor in a bike like the one that Lance won the Tour on in 1999.
“It’s ridiculous, because they used technology from 2016. With the batteries in 1999, you could not have them hidden in a bicycle frame. They were too big. I have people who know something about this.”
Bruyneel was also critical of Greg LeMond, saying he was trying to damage Armstrong with claims of hidden motors.
“He has realised that people are less and less outraged by Lance, because it has become clear that he was only one of many who were doping, and that’s why LeMond is now looking for something new with which to tarnish his name,” Bruyneel said. “But he’s not going to manage it. They can keep trying until the year 3000 they’re not going to find mechanical doping.
“It seems strange that LeMond travelled to the Tour de France with his wife to investigate mechanical doping with the French police – like he was on some sort of mission. They have prepared all of this. They’ve tried to manipulate everything to spread suspicion about Lance once again.”
“In his era LeMond did all he could to come across well, with that baby face, always smiling, the spoken French with a pronounced American accent,” he said. “But in the world of cycling everyone knows he isn’t a very nice man. I often compare him with Laurent Fignon.