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The UCI has slapped a ban and a fine on Team RadioShack manager Johan Bryuneel after jersey-swapping antics designed to promote Lance Armstrong’s fight against cancer at the Tour de France. The UCI on Friday banned Bruyneel for two months, from February 1 to March 31, 2011 and said the Belgian had to pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs (7,300 euros).
The sanctions relate to the infringement of article 12.1.004 of the UCI regulations.
On the last stage of this year’s Tour de France, the last of Armstrong’s career, the team flouted UCI rules by turning up for the final stage to the Champs Elysees wearing black jerseys with the number ’28’ emblazoned across it.
Armstrong, who famously battled cancer in 1998 to return to racing and win the Tour seven times consecutively, wanted as much exposure as possible for his Livestrong foundation, which estimates that 28 million people around the world are living with cancer.
However, angry race officials forced the team to change into their traditional red and gray outfits.
Armstrong persisted and after the stage the 39-year-old American and his team turned up wearing black at the podium to receive their prize for winning the teams’ classification.
“In the end, I think the fact we had to change the jerseys (before thestage) gave us some publicity,” Armstrong told France Television at the end of the stage.
Bruyneel later hit out at the UCI’s reaction, using remarks that earned him a disciplinary hearing.
In a statement issued on Friday, the UCI said: “… Mr J. Bruyneel publicly offended the UCI International Commissaires with his declarations.”
In July the UCI said that because of RadioShack’s good intentions “any fines levied as a result of this matter would be donated to the Swiss League Against Cancer.”
Bruyneel is traveling in Africa and could not be reached for comment. A RadioShack team spokesman said Bruyneel “expected it. He already apologized publicly a week after the Tour. The suspension and fines are expected and not unlogical.”
The UCI on Friday also handed a two-month ban to Spaniard Carlos Barredo, who was involved in a fight with Portuguese Rui Costa following the end of the race’s stage 6 at Gueugnon.
The UCI added: “Mr C. Barredo infringed article 12.1.005 of the UCI regulations (blemishing of the image, the reputation or the interests of cycling and the UCI) during the 2010 Tour de France.”