7. Dave Brailsford reacts to cycling's doping report
March 10 | Sir Dave Brailsford says he is “underwhelmed” by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report.
In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, the Team Sky principal said he hoped it “would be more hard hitting,” though he also said that his own riders were “angry” at the headline claim by an unnamed rider that 90 percent of the peloton are still doping.
“There were a lot of angry young lads on our bus this morning because of that,” said Brailsford. “They were staggered and they were annoyed, which was quite good to see. Nobody knows who said it, nobody knows if it’s a doper – it’s completely unsubstantiated.”
Brailsford continued: “Somebody else said 20 percent. It’s inevitable unfortunately that the media looks for the juiciest line [but] I do think from a leadership point of view, the UCI is ultimately responsible for this sport and with a headline like that they should get out there and justify on what grounds it was said, and back it up with evidence. Everyone’s opinion is valid but you’ve got to give it some context and some evidence to back it up.”
As for his own response to the 228-page report, Brailsford said: “I was hoping to see more about the structure of the teams, the governance of the teams, who should be involved in the sport, who shouldn’t be involved, what would fit and proper person criteria look like.
“I was hoping for some names [and] some concrete, strong moves that would be game-changing. I’m not sure I was expecting suggestions that seem like tweaks. I feel a little underwhelmed by it… I thought it would be quite hard hitting. I thought it would address certain key issues, in my opinion, to keep [the sport] moving forward.”
Brailsford also discusses the recent controversy concerning Team Sky – historic doping allegations against sports director Servais Knaven – as well as his “unease” at the use of therapeutic use exemption (TUE), and reveals what he would do if he was in charge of anti-doping: “I’d get investigators to live with every team, and I’d rotate them so they couldn’t be bought off.”
The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is sponsored by Van Dessel Cycles and British Eurosport.