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Sir Dave Brailsford defends the way he managed the Great Britain Cycling Team

"I don't think I was vindictive, I don't think I was biased, I don't think I was malicious"...

Sir Dave Brailsford has defended his management of the Great Britain Cycling Team during the period he served as performance director at British Cycling.

His comments, made to the BBC, come ahead of the publication of a report by an independent inquiry ordered by UK Sport into the culture at the governing body.

The inquiry was established in the wake of the allegations of bullying and discrimination that led Shane Sutton to resign as technical director in April.

Sutton was found guilty by an internal British Cycling investigation of using sexist language towards track sprinter Jess Varnish, although he was cleared on eight of the nine charges he faced.

> Varnish "shocked and upset" as it emerges British Cycling investigation cleared Sutton on eight out of nine charges

Brailsford left British Cycling in early 2014 to focus full-time on his role as team principal at Team Sky.

Under his guidance, Team GB won 30 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold, and dominated the track events at both Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later.

He acknowledged that his approach can be tough, but insisted it was also fair.

He said: "I'm uncompromising in trying to achieve success. I don't think I treated people wrongly.

"I don't think I was vindictive, I don't think I was biased, I don't think I was malicious.

"We started off as a British team who were second rate, nowhere in the world, with an attitude of gallant losers.

"We thought actually 'why can't we be the best in the world?'

"And I am uncompromising, I know that. Some people can cope with that environment, and some people can't.

"When I took over at British Cycling I tried to push hard. And there were some people I felt who shouldn't be there.

"So you get people who go. I'll never make any excuses about that," he added.

Last month, Sutton and Brailsford both appeared before a parliamentary inquiry into doping in sport.

They were grilled on that the use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and the contents of a package delivered to the Team Sky doctor at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné containing medicine for Sir Bradley Wiggins.

With the TUEs issued in accordance with the relevant regulations and Brailsford saying that the medical package contained a decongestant drug, Fluimucil, that is not banned, there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on Sky’s part.

However, the continued controversy has cast a shadow over Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France victory as well as Chris Froome’s three overall wins in the past four years.

Brailsford recalled the reaction he was met with when he launched Sky ahead of the 2010 season and said the aim was to win the Tour de France clean with a British rider within five years.

He said: "When we set out with the Tour team and said we were going to try to win the Tour people laughed, they laughed at me. That was hard. Harder than now.

"And then when we didn't do very well, that was hard. Really hard. But then you believe in something, you keep working at it and you achieve it," he added.

> Team Sky can be trusted 100% says Brailsford in awkward BBC interview

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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