Tour de France contender unfazed by Bruyneel dismissal
Andy Schleck is focusing on his future and has said that cycling should do the same. Despite the recent USADA report about Lance Armstrong and revelations of organised doping, the Luxembourger told L'Equipe that he was confident the sport will be able to overcome the problems of the past and that the current anti-doping tests were an efficient deterrent against doping.
"The former US Postal riders talk of a reality which I think is behind us now," Schleck reportedly told L'Equipe at the Tour of Beijing. "The problem in cycling is that we have to find some kind of serenity again in order to move on. People have to trust us. I know, that's easier said than done, and what we're reading these days doesn't make our sport any more credible. But I believe in our future."
The 27-year-old added that he thought stirring up cycling's past was not a useful way to clean the slate. "What's the use, really, that someone like Frankie Andreu - whom I refer to at random - tells the truth today about something he did 12 years ago, or more? So, should we go even further, find witnesses to talk about Charly Gaul's era, to hold them accountable?," he asked.
"But it's not for me to decide. It's up to the UCI, it's upto WADA. In my opinion, only the future should be on our minds: the biological passport, the whereabouts system, which represent the first steps. They're tangible measures and they work. At the time when Lance won his Tours, there were less positives than these last few years."
Schleck's brother Fränk is currently fighting to save his career after testing positive at this year's Tour de France, but his younger brother insisted he is not at fault. "Everybody knows, even the experts, that it's not a doping product, that Fränk did nothing wrong," Andy said.
Fränk Schleck has always maintained that he did not know how the Xipamide, a banned diuretic, had entered his body, and L'Equipe recently went so far as to suggest that it could have been his former team manager Johan Bruyneel who contaminated him with the substance, in order to make the brothers stay with the RadioShack-Nissan team.
Bruyneel has now parted ways with the team because of the recent revelations made public in USADA's Reasoned Decision. It is no secret that the Schleck brothers did not get on with the Belgian this season after he imposed changes to their racing programme. "I won't talk about Bruyneel... Last year, we had a manager, this year, we had another. I still have a contract for two more years. It's Bruyneel's problem, not mine," Schleck commented briefly, seemingly unfazed by the Belgian manager's departure.
Looking forward to next year's Tour de France, Schleck said he was going to return to his traditional racing programme. "I want to have a good winter because I want to go back to the plan we used in 2009 and 2010: a first peak of form during the Classics -in order not to have a fitness problem afterwards. I want to go back to what we did before."
"My winter is going to be essential because this year showed me how important the Tour was to me, and how much I missed it. Still, when one door closes, another one usually opens. I'm sure that all of this [his injury, absence from the Tour and difficult recovery] will make me stronger mentally."