Froome backs under-fire Brailsford

Chris Froome in the Herald Sun Tour prologue in Melbourne on Feb 1, 2017.
Chris Froome in the Herald Sun Tour prologue in Melbourne on Feb 1, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome finally rallied to the defence of Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford yesterday.

Brailsford has been under intense scrutiny but has insisted he will not resign from his Team Sky post despite being engulfed in rows over both doping and sexism.

British Cycling was already reeling from revelations it mishandled the drug records of Bradley Wiggins, when Brailsford was labelled "untouchable" in a leaked review published on Friday of how the national governing body handled sexism allegations against a leading coach.

Froome's relative silence had led to suggestions he was trying to distance himself from Brailsford as the likes of Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas offered their support.

But a statement issued yesterday saw Froome, the Tour de France champion in 2013, 2015 and 2016, offer his backing to Brailsford.

GRATITUDE

Without Dave B, there is no Team Sky.

CHRIS FROOME, three-time Tour de France champion, speaking up for Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford.

"With respect to Dave Brailsford, he has created one of the best sports teams in the world," Froome said. "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."

Former British Cycling performance director Brailsford has come under fire for failing to prove what was in a medical package ordered by a team doctor and delivered to Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race.

Brailsford told lawmakers that the package contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil - although the lack of a paper trail has called into question Team Sky's medical record-keeping.

Team Sky and British Cycling have both been subject to an investigation by UK Anti-Doping into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport. Both have denied any doping violations.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2017, with the headline 'Froome backs under-fire Brailsford'. Print Edition | Subscribe