“A bunch of douches r gonna meet in London 2 change cycling. But why is @vaughters not on the list? He should be leading that group.” — Johan Bruyneel on twitter
Johan Bruyneel did not mis-tweet. The former head of the RadioShack-Nissan Trek squad responded to news of a Change Cycling Now summit by calling the participants “douches.” He went on to imply that Garmin-Sharp boss Jonathan Vaughters was the biggest douche of all.
That sounds pretty bad, seriously tacky, lacking in class and just generally nasty. However, that’s not what Johan Bruyneel meant at all.
The Belgian who guided Lance Armstrong to seven false Tour de France wins was not making a derogatory remark by associating Greg Lemond, Paul Kimmage and Michael Ashenden with an act of feminine hygiene. Really, why would an old school Belgian like Mr. Bruyneel engage in that kind of gutter talk?
Bruyneel is himself preparing for his arbitration hearing with the United States Anti-Doping Agency over a wide range of doping allegations –but he’s not one to criticize any efforts to clean up the mess, rid the sport of doping abuses and reform the governance of the entire operation.
No, a second read of the Bruyneel tweet shows just the opposite. While perhaps not expressing himself as clearly as he wished he had, Bruyneel was in fact complimenting the group. In using the term “douches,” his meaning and definition was about the act of cleansing.
What Bruyneel was trying to tweet was that he was in full support of the “cleaners” trying to change the sport for the better. For that we at Twisted Spoke applaud Johan Bruyneel. Though he and Lance Armstrong have come to represent the dirtiest years of the sport, he’s still taking the high road.
It’s important to remember that Bruyneel speaks seven languages. Imagine how crazy it is for him to mentally juggle a vocabulary that’s several times larger than yours or mine. In such a situation, it’s no surprise that the Belgian grasped for the wrong word or one that didn’t fully express what he wished to communicate.
In all probability, Johan Bruyneel will be banned from the sport for life after his USADA arbitration hearing. He may have run the most professional doping program in sports but he’s not one to take a cheapshot or act in a vindictive manner.
He’s happy that a bunch of “cleaners” or “hygiene specialists” r meeting in London 2 change cycling. He really is.