Cycling: Sir Dave Brailsford hits out at doping innuendo aimed at Team Sky

The team manager said he respected the right of journalists and experts to ask legitimate questions

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The Independent Online

Dave Brailsford has attacked the whisperers who continue to suggest his Team Sky are guilty of doping.

The team manager said he respected the right of journalists and experts to ask legitimate questions about Sky's operations, such as the decision to hire Dr Geert Leinders in 2010 despite allegations of his past involvement in doping, but added that he was growing tired of online "innuendo" concerning his and his team's integrity.

"The Leinders question is legitimate, and when we do things there are legitimate questions that should be asked. We want them to be asked and we're more than happy to answer them. But I don't like innuendo. That's unfair," he told Cyclingnews.

Brailsford said it had been a mistake to hire Leinders, who left Sky last October, but angrily rejected the notion that the Belgian doctor's presence in the team was somehow proof that Sky were guilty of doping. "Of course it was a mistake. Absolutely. But hiring one doctor, who worked for 40 days, does that mean we're doping now? How does that work?" he said.

He added that his long and prestigious record of service with British Cycling, including overseeing the eight gold medals won at last year's Olympics, proved that he was not involved with doping.

"If you're a cheat, you're a cheat, you're not half a cheat, "Brailsford said. "You wouldn't say, 'I'll cheat here but I'm not going to cheat over there; I'll cheat on a Monday but not on a Tuesday.'

"So we were doping in the Olympics too? If I'm a doper, if I'm a liar, I'm a liar in my personality through and through. So why didn't I dope the Olympic team for the last 15 years? Have I just decided I'm going to do it with this team? I'm not going to do it over there but I'll cheat here? We've dominated the Olympic Games for 15 years. Explain that to me. We didn't just win at the Olympic Games, we dominated them, we smashed it out of the park. More than anyone else has ever done. That level of performance is monumental.

"If I'm a liar and a cheat and if my ethics and morals are all about cheating, if that's what we're doing here, surely I'll be doing it in other places in my life. Not just parts."