Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) has downplayed his father’s advice that he and his brother Fränk should quit cycling. Johnny Schleck’s suggestion came as Fränk waits to hear if he will be sanctioned for a positive test for the diuretic Xipamide at the Tour de France.
“My father is very emotional when talks about cycling,” Andy Schleck told RTL. “What we’ve lived with Fränk is hard. We know that he didn’t take anything, that he didn’t do anything wrong. My parents are suffering and I am too. It’s hard for my family but I’m going to continue.”
Andy Schleck himself endured a wretched 2012 campaign and missed the Tour de France after fracturing his pelvis in a crash during the Critérium du Dauphiné. He returned to action just before the end of the season and completed four stages of the Tour of Beijing. He is set to spend much of the winter training in Spain.
“I’m not yet 100% but I’m going to work hard this winter. I’m motivated and I want to show to the public that I am stronger than all of that,” Schleck said.
On Monday, the UCI confirmed that it would not contest USADA’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life. While Schleck was reluctant to pass judgment on Armstrong, he acknowledged that the UCI had been left with no other choice but to accept USADA’s findings.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s going to help the sport to look back at what happened eight, nine, ten years ago,” he said. “I think that we have to look to the future of cycling instead. But there are also many things that weren’t clear and are now, so I think that the UCI was a bit obliged to take the decision.
“But I think that for the spectators who watched the Tour, who is the winner of the Tour? Ullrich? But then if it’s given to someone else, it’s not much better. We have to draw a line and start from zero.”
Schleck’s manager at RadioShack-Nissan in 2012 was Johan Bruyneel, but the Belgian parted company with the team after details of his role in US Postal’s systematic doping programme were disclosed in USADA’s reasoned decision on the Armstrong case.