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Three-time Tour de France winner breaks his silence regarding beleaguered boss a week after failing to join other riders in tweeting their support

Chris Froome has publicly given his backing to Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford, who last week said he would not resign despite the ongoing furore over issues including the mystery package delivered to former team doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.

> Brailsford says he has no intention of resigning from Team Sky

A week ago, most of Team Sky’s riders – but not Froome – took to Twitter to express their support of Brailsford.

It was subsequently reported that initially, the team had planned to publish a letter signed by all riders pledging their backing of him, but had to rethink those plans since Froome would not be among them.

In a statement released today, however, Froome gave his unequivocal support to Brailsford, whom he said “has created one of the best sports teams in the world. Without Dave B, there is no Team Sky.”

He added: "I would like to apologise for this on behalf of myself and the other riders of Team Sky who feel passionately about our sport and winning clean."

In December, Brailsford told a House of Commons select committee that is investigating doping in sport that the mystery Dauphiné package contained the decongestant Fluimucil, which is not banned, destined for Sir Bradley Wiggins.

But his answer failed to satisfy MPs in the absence of a ‘paper trail’ with the select committee’s chair, Damian Collins, saying that Team Sky’s reputation had been “left in tatters.”

Earlier this month UK Anti-doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead, giving evidence as part of the same investigation, raised concerns about the amount of the corticosteroid triamcinolone ordered by Team Sky, which Wiggins took under a therapeutic use exemption ahead of major races including the 2012 Tour de France which he won, with Froome runner-up.

Sapstead said the quantity ordered could not be explained by the issue to a single rider of a TUE, which allows athletes to take drugs that would ordinarily be banned provided there is a genuine medical reason to do so.

Last week, Team Sky published a detailed response to the criticism, acknowledging that “mistakes were made” while insisting that the medicine in the Dauphiné package was Fluimucil and refuting Sapstead’s comments regarding the triamcinolone.

Team Sky chairman Graham McWilliam tweeted last week that both its board and its headline sponsor were “100 per cent” behind Brailsford.

> Team Sky chairman gives vote of confidence to Brailsford

Brailsford came under further pressure on Friday after it was reported that the independent review into British Cycling ordered by UK Sport and due to be published next month described him as “untouchable” when he was performance director of the Great Britain Cycling Team.

> British Cycling's leadership condemned by independent review

Froome’s statement is published in full below.

It disappoints me hugely to see the way in which Team Sky has been portrayed by the media recently. It does not reflect the support crew and the riders that I see around me.

At the same time, I completely understand why people feel let down by the way in which the situation has been handled, and going forward we need to do better.

I would like to apologise for this on behalf of myself and the other riders of Team Sky who feel passionately about our sport and winning clean. I believe in the people around me, and what we are doing.

With respect to Dave Brailsford, he has created one of the best sports teams in the world. Without Dave B, there is no Team Sky.

He has supported me throughout the last seven years of my career and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities and the experiences I've had. By his own admission, mistakes have been made, but protocols have been put in place to ensure that those same mistakes will not be made again.

I know it will take time for faith to be restored, but I will do my utmost to ensure that happens, along with everyone else at Team Sky.

It was published following a weekend in which Team Sky won Paris-Nice for the fifth time in six years after Sergio Henao held off a challenge from Alberto Contador on yesterday’s final stage, just as Geraint Thomas had done 12 months ago.

Sir Bradley Wiggins kicked off Team Sky’s run of success in the week-long French stage race in 2012, with Richie Porte taking the overall in 2013 and 2015.

Only Carlos Betancur has managed to break the British WorldTour team’s stranglehold on the race, the Colombian, now with Movistar, winning the 2014 edition when he was riding for AG2R-La Mondiale.

Froome, who lives in Monaco, a few kilometres east along the Cote d'Azur from Nice, saw some of yesterday's race first-hand while out on a training ride, posting a photo from the roadside to Twitter.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

24 comments

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Finally got him to play ball! angel

 

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Alb [152 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

*gives support after it looks like it'll all blow over. Weak 

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Plasterer's Radio [310 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

It's about time people started to appeciate Brailsford, Wiggo and British Cycling instead of running them down.

Just look at what's been acheived in the last 15 years or so.

I'm proud of them all, warts and all.

Winners.

 

Avatar
MikeOnABike [104 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

It's about time people started to appeciate Brailsford, Wiggo and UK Cycling instead of running them down.

Just look at what's been acheived in the last 15 years or so.

I'm proud of them all, warts and all.

Winners.

 

 

I'm proud of them all, PEDS and all. 

  -Fixed that for you.

Avatar
beezus fufoon [747 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

It's about time people started to appeciate Brailsford, Wiggo and British Cycling instead of running them down.

Just look at what's been acheived in the last 15 years or so.

I'm proud of them all, warts and all.

Winners.

 

you're always after a happy ending!

Avatar
SingleSpeed [328 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

you're always after a happy ending!

 

Said the Soigneur.

Avatar
theloststarfighter [55 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

There's a right and a wrong with doping in sport and that's laid down by the governing bodies. Then there's a grey area of pushing rules, loop holes, TUE's and who knows what else to get an advantage.  Sometimes stepping into this grey area will make an individual or team look cynical or unethical in it's approach.  Lets hope for British cycling overall, whether you're a Sky supporter or not, that the team can move on with celebrating successes won in the spirit of fair competition.  Let's not be naive and think all the unethical activities of any UCI Pro team will just stop, especially where there's money involved.  You can understand that Froome is being politically judicous in his language, not wanting words said now to haunt him later.  Brailsford might be Ming the Merciless, I don't know the man but I do respect a lot of the athletes on team GB & Sky and wish them well.

and they all lived happily ever after...

Avatar
Carton [387 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
Quote:

Froome gave his equivocal support to Brailsford

FTFY.

Clearly he had to address the issue, and clearly he isn't happy about it. But just as clearly, despite Kimmage's fist shakes, he wasn't about to unload on his friend and mentor, particularly as he was about to ramp up his Tour training, and given the context of cycling where so many other issues are just as swiftly swept under the rug. 

But considering how tighly Brailsford holds the whip, I'm guessing he went just about as far as he could go without googling "how to draw up a resignation letter".

Avatar
ashliejay [57 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

Hope so, can't bloody stand team SKY, everyone involved with them seems extremely arrogant, and stuck up. their answer to pretty much anything is just throw money at it, and if that doesn't work throw more money at it.

Avatar
Jackson [373 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

You can understand why Froome didn't jump to offer support.

If Froome is dirty then he wouldn't be wanting to lump himself in with Wiggins* and Dr Freeman and invite closer scrutiny.

If Froome is clean he's rightfully pissed off that Brailsford made him gift the 2012 TdF to a guy shot full of triamcinolone.

Avatar
Plasterer's Radio [310 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
MikeOnABike wrote:
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

It's about time people started to appeciate Brailsford, Wiggo and UK Cycling instead of running them down.

Just look at what's been acheived in the last 15 years or so.

I'm proud of them all, warts and all.

Winners.

 

 

I'm proud of them all, PEDS and all. 

  -Fixed that for you.

Yawn.....cyclesport and drugs? Who knew?

You are naive and a loser.

Avatar
Plasterer's Radio [310 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
ashliejay wrote:

Hope so, can't bloody stand team SKY, everyone involved with them seems extremely arrogant, and stuck up. their answer to pretty much anything is just throw money at it, and if that doesn't work throw more money at it.

Do you ever complain about lack of funding?

Do you just want nice people to win?

Get a grip. Typical british loser attitude.

Avatar
ConcordeCX [380 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:
ashliejay wrote:

Hope so, can't bloody stand team SKY, everyone involved with them seems extremely arrogant, and stuck up. their answer to pretty much anything is just throw money at it, and if that doesn't work throw more money at it.

Do you ever complain about lack of funding?

Do you just want nice people to win?

Get a grip. Typical british loser attitude.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_F.C.

 

 

Avatar
zanf [947 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

It's about time people started to appeciate Brailsford, Wiggo and UK Cycling instead of running them down.

Just look at what's been acheived in the last 15 years or so.

I'm proud of them all, warts and all.

Winners.

I'm proud of them all, PEDS and all. 

  -Fixed that for you.

Yawn.....cyclesport and drugs? Who knew?

You are naive and a loser.

We can all play that game and get down to your level: "You are an ass hat."

//study.com/cimages/multimages/16/diagramargumentresponse.png)

Avatar
Leviathan [2729 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

Uhhh, this is getting so boring. They found a loophole in the rules then doped Wiggins up with as much stuff as the  could get away with. They gamed the system and won. If there is a problem with TUEs, just change the rules and stop wining about it. End of story.

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TheDoctor [238 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

He's so full of it, fresh off the plane from his special training camp in a continent with no drug testing! 

Its like the 90s and 2000s never happened 

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Jackson [373 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
TheDoctor wrote:

He's so full of it, fresh off the plane from his special training camp in a continent with no drug testing! 

Its like the 90s and 2000s never happened 

The official Sky line was he can't go to the races with Nibali, Pinot, Contador and Quintana because "they're too easy".

If that's the case, put him on the front for the first 150km each day. 

Avatar
TheDoctor [238 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Jackson wrote:

The official Sky line was he can't go to the races with Nibali, Pinot, Contador and Quintana because "they're too easy".

If that's the case, put him on the front for the first 150km each day. 

 

True, with the real reason more like if he races he will get drug tested and he doesn't want that, would interfere with his program 

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Jimmy Ray Will [733 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Have you guys never heard of the whereabouts programme? 

I agree, you have a greater chance of being tested if you are winning / placing highly in races than you would training at home... however, if you simply don't post top 3 results your testing frequency would be no more than standard random testing...

Your argument doesn't work. 

 

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SingleSpeed [328 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Have you guys never heard of the whereabouts programme? 

 

Lizzie Armistead hasn't

Avatar
Jackson [373 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Have you guys never heard of the whereabouts programme? 

I agree, you have a greater chance of being tested if you are winning / placing highly in races than you would training at home... however, if you simply don't post top 3 results your testing frequency would be no more than standard random testing...

Your argument doesn't work. 

Triamcinolone isn't banned out of competition 

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alansmurphy [734 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

So they're breaking no rules.

 

What is it with you angry little people?

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alansmurphy [734 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Yes, people fly in and out to do tests.

 

Avatar
TheDoctor [238 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Have you guys never heard of the whereabouts programme? 

Your argument doesn't work. 

 

there isn't a singe wada approved testing lab In the whole of Africa, that's why he goes training there! Free to do whatever he wants! 

unless you think they would fly someone in and out to tests? (Hint, no they don't, testing is done by local ADOs and tested locally) wada doesn't have the spare funding to fly about!