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Armstrong Coach Chooses Arbitration In Doping Case

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File photo of US team Radioshack's manager John Bruyneel. (credit: JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of US team Radioshack’s manager John Bruyneel. (credit: JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The coach of Lance Armstrong’s teams during his seven Tour de France victories will fight doping charges against him in arbitration.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirmed Friday that Johan Bruyneel chose to send his case to arbitration rather than accept sanctions for charges that he led a doping program on Armstrong’s teams. Bruyneel faced a Saturday deadline.

Bruyneel has said he is innocent. He faces up to a lifetime ban from sports if found guilty.

Armstrong also has been charged. Armstrong says he is innocent and is suing in federal court in an attempt to block the case.

Bruyneel is among Armstrong’s closest friends and confidants. He was coach of Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams when Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999-2005.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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