Lance Armstrong's long-time team manager Johan Bruyneel has been banned from professional sport for 10 years for helping to organise widespread doping by teams led by the disgraced cyclist.
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced the verdicts of an American Arbitration Association panel against Bruyneel and two staff of the now defunct team, completing its investigation which saw Armstrong banished from cycling for life in 2012.
The team doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose Marti will serve eight-year bans. The trio worked for Armstrong's US Postal Service team, which later changed its name to the Discovery Channel.
Bruyneel "was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the [US Postal Service] and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders," Usada said in a statement.
Bruyneel claimed he, Armstrong and the others had been made scapegoats for an era when doping was "a fact of life" in cycling. "I do not dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different," Bruyneel said. "However, a very small minority of us has been used as scapegoats for an entire generation."
As a Belgian national, Bruyneel questioned Usada's right to prosecute him and said he would consider appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Bruyneel, Celaya and Marti faced charges including trafficking and administering doping products and methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone. The panel ruled that Bruyneel encouraged his USPS and Discovery Channel riders to cheat. Bruyneel was most recently general manager of Radioshack-Nissan, but stepped down in 2012.