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DUSSELDORF, Germany (AFP) — Sky team principal Dave Brailsford claimed he and his team have maintained their credibility despite a series of scandals over the last year.
Brailsford has faced calls to quit amidst rumors there was a rider-led move to get him kicked out of Sky.
But, ahead of the Tour de France start in Dusseldorf on Saturday, the Sky boss insisted his credibility is intact.
“I’ve been involved in this sport a long time, and I’ve tried to do it absolutely in the way that I’ve always thought it should be done,” he said.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in this sport, proud of this team and proud to be sitting here and to be getting ready for the race.”
Sky entered cycling proclaiming itself to have a “zero tolerance” policy on doping. But it has since emerged that 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins was given a banned substance, although legally having previously obtained a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).
Although neither Wiggins, nor Sky, did anything wrong, the use by the multiple Olympic champion of a powerful steroid before his 2012 Tour victory, as well as the mystery package whose contents no-one seems to be able to remember being brought to him during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, have called into question Sky’s ethics.
But Brailsford remains defiant.
“Absolutely we haven’t changed from the values that we started this team with and that’s how we’re going to keep on going,” he stated.
As for his own future, Brailsford said the increasing pressure and criticism he was subjected to hasn’t dampened his desire to lead Sky.
“Yeah, I love it, I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I’m proud of cycling in Britain. I’m proud of everything that’s been achieved. I’m proud of these guys, proud of Team Sky — I love it. I’m going nowhere.”