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Brailsford: doping is addictive, like going from marijuana to cocaine

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 19, 2013, 11:20,
Updated:
March 19, 2013, 13:22
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peloton was swept up in the doping culture

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford has compared the use of doping in sport to social drug use, highlighting the addictive nature of drugs and how people can rapidly progress from a first joint to crack cocaine.

Speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Monday, the Guardian reported that Brailsford suggested that athletes had become swept up in a doping culture with the arrival of once undetectable drugs such as the growth hormone EPO.

"To me [the riders who doped] are not bad people as such,” he said, highlighting the addictive nature of doping with the comparison to so-called recreational drugs.

“It is similar to someone having their first joint and then moving onto ecstasy or whatever. Then the next thing you know it is everyone on crack cocaine," the Guardian reported Brailsford as saying.

As for Lance Armstrong and the expose of not only his own doping, but his intimidation of other rider and even journalists, Brailsford suggested that there may well have been wide spread corruption to hide a complex doping programme.

“Yes, I do think there was institutionalised corruption. I do think anyone can rehabilitate themselves. It is down to the individual. Suing people [journalists], bullying was unpleasant."

Brailsford is the team manager at Team Sky and also directed the Great Britain cycling team to success at the 2013 London Olympics. Team Sky introduced a zero-tolerance policy to doping in the team at the end of 2012. All staff and riders are obbliged  to sign a statement that they have never been involved with doping. Several people left the team as a consequence of the policy.

Last week Brailsford hit back at innuendo about why Team Sky is so strong in stage races, using the success of the Great Britain team as guarantee of his integrity.

"If people want the entertainment value of riders attacking each other, stopping, attacking each other again and again, then go back to 'old cycling', which will give you the capability to do that," he told Cyclingnews.

"If you want clean sport and clean cycling, then it's going to be different. You can't have it both ways. There's an element of reality about what were doing."

Benito More than 1 year ago
So when ever cycling is entertaining doping is involved. Interesting view, I'll look closely if there are any Sky-riders out there which dare to entertain.
Joeos5 More than 1 year ago
Sooner or later they willbe caught as well.
ianfra More than 1 year ago
Obviously you know something that the rest of us reasonable human beings don't. You off course KNOW (shouted) that Sky are doping. As that is the case I would like to see your evidence - evidence that is strong enough to stand up in a court of law. If you can't deliver then please keep your innuendos and ill judged assumptions to yourself. Because making such accusations without evidence is against democracy, it's against human rights and it's against the rights of the individuals accused.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
I think the problem these guys have is that they are upset at missing out on attacking the riders for taking drugs in the 90's and are now attacking clean riders and teams. Until any evidence comes out or a rider says something then we should give Sky the benefit of the doubt here. Some other teams are not worthy of trust as their history is not clean. However, Sky do not fall into that category. Also, if people are waiting for the "Landis" to appear, i would suggest that as none of the team who go sacked / let go from last year for having a doping history have come forward and said anything it would suggest that maybe there is nothing to say.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
or have had a massive severance pay package which comes with a confidentiality agreement
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
not sure if Sky could sue someone for coming out to report a crime? That one doesn't add up to me. No court woould find in Sky's favour if that was the case.
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
Haha against democracy and human rights.... Why don't you throw in the old Armstrong "why do you love cancer?" slogan too? Well, let's get some facts down: Hires known doping doctor Lienders not for doping though... Definitely not for doping. No doctors anywhere that could take care of saddle sores and such... Hires staff very well known for doping. They are gone now because the USADA thing finally happened. Has a historic team-wide dominance in stage racing in 2012 since maybe never. Better than the USPS dope train!! No doping though.. At all. Magically transforms top-20 Grand Tour riders into legendary TT/climbers in the span of 24 months. Grand Tour squad vanishes from pro peloton, hide out in Tenerife where "altitude training" turns them into field dominating riders. Just don't look at the results from the end of 2012. Average. Nothing wrong there... Oh, and let's not forget they've never tested positive. Like Armstrong and others. This free-form interview is setting up the excuse "Dave didn't know." Like Thom Wiesel, USPS team owner and USA Cycling owner didn't know Armstrong was doping. This is going to end badly for Dave.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
Dave.s no wiesel,that slimy cretin should be removed from cycling at the earliest opportunity along with ochowitz
Chris Dwyer More than 1 year ago
Yes.... not sure how much of that is fact fella, rather a series of reported events that you have spun to suit your own agenda.
Lamby101 More than 1 year ago
Don't forget that Dr Fuentes lives in the Canary Islands (Tenerife is in the Canary Islands)
ianfra More than 1 year ago
It just amazes me how you people can get away with this stuff. Lance Armstrong was a special case. Like some members of my family he is a socio-path and to a certain extent these people have a mental disability that cannot be treated. Having said that, I absolutely hate doping, lying and cheating in any walk of life. I don't like drugs, I don't drink alcohol. But I also hate people who make direct accusations without evidence. That's the same as lying and cheating. Hiring Leinders, for Gd's sake, is no indication that a whole team is doping. On this board there have been mention of some of the Sky staff who have resigned/been dismissed for doping. All of these people (I think) were denyers - a personality trait straight out of the Lance Armstrong book on how to behave. Sean Yates is frequently mentioned but he resigned for other reasons and I know he has had a turbulent family life. He doesn't need ignorant louts posting accusations without evidence. If you want to make accusations, you could use terms such as "it is alleged that ....." or "there is a possibility that ....." Being careful with language in this way means that you do not get up people's noses. In fact you are so far up my nose because of your ignorant, ill-conceived and prejudiced views (posts) that if I could find a way of forcing you you to provide evidence then I would. Your innuendos and bad mathematics (2 + 2 = 5) are bad for the sport and bad for the individuals who are probably being falsely accused by you lot, the great unwashed of cycling. If you do not like our sport, why don't you just stay out?
Brian Handy More than 1 year ago
"Armstrong was a special case." Are you mad? Have you not kept up with the O. Puerto court case (CSC's doping program among others)? The avalanche of admissions coming out Holland about the Rabbobank's doping program administered by Dr Leinders (formally of Sky)? More recent team doping by Lampre? So what was so special about the Armstrong case, other than nullified results?
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Ian you seem to have invested heavily in Sky, I hope they don't let you down.
mac220 More than 1 year ago
My understanding is that the UK doesn't specifically have any anti-doping legislation and therefore improving performance by using performance enhancing drugs in the UK isn't illegal in itself. Legislation which could be used to charge someone who was found to have used performance enhancing drugs would be related to 'Misuse of Drugs 1971', the 'Medicines Act 1968' and the 'proceeds of crime act' among others but this would not relate to having obtained an unfair advantage as a result of using them. Also, the UK National Anti-doping policy specifically defines which 'rules' (not criminal or common law) which the UK anti-doping shall use to determine if an individual is considered to have improved their performance in a manner which is against the prescribed rules i.e. WADA Code of conduct. The UK National Anti-doping policy states that the UK Government 'condemns' doping in sport. The UK gov doesn't take the same approach to criminal law, it is a little more strict about the law being broken. UK Anti-doping is a 'non departmental public body' and the UK government has yet to passed any legislation outlawing doping within sport. As improving performance by means which is against the WADA Code is not a criminal or civil act in itself the threshold level for the quality and provenance of evidence is defined by WADA Code of conduct and doesn't have the same high standard as that of a Criminal or Civil case in the UK i.e. WADA or UK Anti-doping do not have the funding, skill or manpower to perform investigations to the level required by the UK criminal justice system. In the UK the police do not commonly investigate suspected cases of doping in sport. It seems it would be highly unlikely that any doping cases will be prosecuted within a court of law within the UK unless the individual is charged with breaking the aforementioned acts and was for example being charged with misuse or supply of controlled drugs, trafficking of control drugs or something along those lines. So anyone making accusations against someone relating to them allegedly doping would have to have provide evidence in-line with that required by WADA not the UK criminal justice system. As this is what the UK government has mandated to be used to determine if someone has cheated by doping.
Donovan Jackson More than 1 year ago
Yes Joeos5 how DARE you question a team that is so far ahead of the others? Didn't you hear Porte saying they work harder and smarter than those lazy, half-assed teams that make up the rest of the peloton? Don't you remember how arduously LA and USPS insisted they were clean for all those years? And remember, you should believe the likes of Wiggins, Brailsford and Porte, because people like Kimmage, who have their doubts with absolutely NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE, are clearly not to be trusted, because it is THEM that have a vested interest in juicing the lads up to be at the front all the time. Finally, the last thing I’ll say to the people like you Joeos5, who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the sceptics: I'm sorry for you. I’m sorry that you can’t dream big. I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles.
sideshadow More than 1 year ago
"If people want the entertainment value of riders attacking each other, stopping, attacking each other again and again, then go back to 'old cycling', which will give you the capability to do that'' sure DB, except Froome was ready to attack on a number of occasions during the Tour and your DS called him back, why? Are you saying that Froome did not exhibit clean racing? There is definitely not an element of reality to what your team is doing. Even guys who raced through the EPO era say they have no solution to the high pace set by this single team.
Marino Gallo More than 1 year ago
like going from pot to coke? wow. has he been reading the wrong brochures …
CobbleStoner More than 1 year ago
ya, what an idiot Brailsford is, stoners don't want to do crack, weed is relaxing, not a speed.
BYOP88 More than 1 year ago
“It is similar to someone having their first joint and then moving onto ecstasy or whatever. Then the next thing you know it is everyone on crack cocaine," the Guardian reported Brailsford as saying. That's what marginal gains does for you.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Yes it does which goes a long way to explaining how riders ended up on EPO. Starting around 1903 with other drugs they kept progressing until they got to EPO. By then it was just one more drug to take so they were not cheating anymore than they were before. Do you have an actual point about Team Sky?
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
It doesn't explain how riders end up on EPO. Riders end up on EPO because the federation permits it. Which federation was the last to sign onto the WADA standard? Cycling. Which federation has suppressed positive results? Cycling. (see Contador and Armstrong) Which federation leaders have a personal relationship with one of the sport's stars? Cycling. Which federation reluctantly enforced the USADA sanctions? Cycling. It's much more the federation's problem than the athletes.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Of course the UCI permitted it, the point was that cyclists went from using one drug to another to another as they got better and were not detectable at the time. If the past few years tells us anything is that the UCI and especially the top people have made their jobs impossible to do. They need to go and a new UCI needs to appear which will take doping seriously.
Stingray34 More than 1 year ago
A real jumbled bunch of opinions from Herr Brailsford: Institutionalised doping AND corruption, yet it comes down to the individual. The slippery slope fallacy of soft to hard drugs. He did everything but site the stiff upper lip and good ol British sense and sensibility. Holding up the doped beyond feck GB track team as evidence of cleanliness was also a masterpiece of question-begging. Who's gonna be your Landis, Dave?
Chris Dwyer More than 1 year ago
Another poorly written piece of pseudo-journalism with lots of innuendo and half facts. I think his point is that once you start doping in races, it is very difficult to stop, especially when you are getting results from it - drugs are addictive. Oh, and by the way the London Olympics were in 2012, not 2013, and obliged only has one 'b' in it. You lot are just bitter and twisted!
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Well said. Some of these articles look to be written by some of the muppets who comment on here who also have a massive axe to grind everytime Sky is mentioned. Not sure why they have this chip on their shoulder, maybe Sky terminated their subscription so have to watch council estate tv?
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
there's more SKY on council estates mate,its the staple TV diet
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
yes there is which means that benefits are too high! The term used to mean poor mans tv who couldn't afford Sky.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
I hav'nt got SKY myself,more down to my loathing of Rupert Murdoch,although one or two of his journo's are on my greatest living Englishmans list although to be fair they are both Irish ,
Donald Huschle More than 1 year ago
As the weightlifters say, drugs are not addictive, the results are!
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Gee talk about putting 2 and 2 together and getting 66. You guys keep rolling out the same rubbish that you posted last week. What DB is on about is the days of Merckx, Pantani, Lance, (Contador?) etc... who attacked day after day and often more than once in a stage. Comparing Froomes attack near the end of a stage is not the same. Or did you guys not see the tour back in the 80's, 90's etc? Also, comments about how Sky are riding on the front all day is a bit short sighted, if you were on another team and Sky were prepared to ride on the front chances are you would let them and save some energy. I would agree that it would look suspect if all 9 riders rode on the front like a TTT and then all finished in the front bunch, however, this is not happening. I expect you team Sky haters will look to fit the facts into your narrow minded theories. Oh, and if you do have any sort of proof that they are doping can you please post it? Your comments are very boring.
BYOP88 More than 1 year ago
Ok Mike iIdon't have any beef with you or any other Sky fan and being an internet warrior isn't my game, so I'll keep it as civil as possible. I also apolgize if my last comment was a touch over the line. Why are you so certain that Sky are clean? Without knowing how long you've been a cycling fan, you must know that doping is ingrained in the sport. My issue with Sky is this, they profess to be clean and hopefully they are, but when they're asked questions about stuff they've said it the past they become extremely reticent and act exactly how teams such as T-Mobile, Rabobank, Liberty S, USPS, Kelme etc have acted in the past and that is part of my concern.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Firstly, i support cycling, always have always will, i know the past and the drug history which i believe is changing. If it isn't then their is a good chance that there will be no sponsors and no sport in 2 - 5 years time. My support of Sky is due to the fact that i beleive them to be clean. Yes their PR machine is not the world's best, i would actually be more worried if they had a spin doctor employed instead of Dave answering questions. We also do not know how acuratley cyclingnews is reporting these conversations. Looking at cycling in the UK, team GB in the olympics and also the anti-drug culture in the UK it would seem that Dave and Sky are more likely to be clean than dirty. Why would Dave suddenly go from being a clean track manager to a doping road manager? It doesn't make sense. Also, this is now 2013, not 2003 or 1993. Riders, doctors are all coming out telling their stories from the past, so Dave must realise that if they were doping that it would just be a matter of time before they were implicated with anything. Based on this is how i have come to my opinion of Sky.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
not exactly a Sky hater or lover myself,i stand somewhere in between.I actually think they are a clean team,evolving out of the background as they have ,re ,British Track,where there is a definite sense and sensabillity we play by the rules and damn Johnny Foreigner mentality.Brailsford can be frustrating interviewee as he never gives a striaght answer,De Jongh and Julich(never a great fan) were thrown under the bus,but Yates and Sutton ".retired on health grounds and asided to a part time job respectivlly does not ring true .Simlarly his near ambivalance on the subject of Armstrong amazes me,and that is one subject you will definitley not find me sitting on the fence on.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Big difference between De Jongh, Julich and Yates and Sutton is that the former two admitted a past and were subsequently asked to leave, Yates and Sutton have not and so far i have not seen any proof that they were involved. I didn't see Yates name pop up in the LA - USADA rider statements. To be fair to Dave while he might think someone was involved if they claim not to be and there is no clear evidence what can he do? Also, if they retire what can he do? Were they involved in doping in the past? It would be hard to think that they were not aware of it or were involved, however, that is not fact. I think his statements of LA have been well documented and perhaps he is sick of LA being involved in almost every interview?
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
nice reply Mike,enjoy your posts BTW. my point on Julich de Jongh Yates and Sutton is that Julich and De Jongh were sort of hired guns and ,i hate to go down this road ....not British. but as we both know Yates and Sutton are both bastions of British cycling and i mean that as being widespread and not appertaining to the organization,yes Sutton is from down under but 30 yrs of living and being employed over here in my opion exempts him from being in the same frame as Julich and De jongh
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Good points about Sutton and Yates, also note that while they were technically living in the UK both were involved in continental / US teams for their careers.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
yates,yes Sutton for the most part was involved in uk domestic pro teams, ie Raliegh,Percy Bilton,ANC Lycra Halfords,he started off his pro career with the Belgian based Clemenso Mavic squad.the after 1981 it was home on the range in Wolverhampton
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
incidentally Mike just to show what a close knit community it is a mate of mine started the ANC team,after that folded he managed the Ambrosia team whch Rod Ellingworth had a brief career,he s now banged up at her majestys pleasure
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
ventoux67, was there ever any rumour or proof that Sutton and the UK teams were doping back then? Would be interesting to know, however, from the riders i knew i would think this to be unlikely, most said it was a main land euro thing. Cycling is a fairly tight group which is why riders and staff often move from team to team. The travelling lifestyle for some is not a option which probably also explains why Sky initially hired doctors from the peloton who have now been linked with pasts in doping.
mac220 More than 1 year ago
Stephen Swart gives his experience of doping at ANC Halfords in the David Walsh's book 'Seven Deadly Sins'. Swart rode for ANC Halford, Coors Lite and Motorola. As has been posted Shane Sutton also road for ANC Halford.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
great book 'Seven Deadly Sins'.
StraussDieter More than 1 year ago
"... Brailsford suggested that athletes had become swept up in a doping culture with the arrival of once undetectable drugs such as the growth hormone EPO." Is EPO a growth hormone?
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
shows how much of a doper DB is! He obviously doesn't know as he has never cheated.
ShawnB More than 1 year ago
You don't know that. You go around demanding that other posters only stick to hard, provable facts. Yet you let yourself off the hook with regard to same, and live with another standard entirely. Hypocrisy. Neither side in this Sky argument has direct evidence of doping, or direct evidence of no doping (please don't bring up a lack of failed controls; we know from USADA and Rabo that means nil). There is only circumstantial evidence, thus it's just connecting dots at this point -- and Sky supporters are doing it, in the exact same way that Sky sceptics are doing it, in opposing 'just-so' stories. If you enter into this conversation, please don't self-righteously demand facts of others, as -- unless you're DB or one of his riders -- you have no actual knowledge of the true fact of the matter yourself.
Chris Dwyer More than 1 year ago
I think Mike was making a joke.....
ShawnB More than 1 year ago
No, I read his fifteen other posts on this one article (that's fifteen just today), and his POV is crystal clear and consistent: Sky is clean because he thinks it is, and that's simply how we British conduct ourselves and dreadful bad luck to you if you don't see the truth in that, old man. Sir David gave his word, you see, and a gentleman's word is his bond. Foreign types can't wrap their heads around it but these are facts, mmmm. The whole Mike character may be a joke, but that's a different thing..
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Yes i was, he clearly missed it. Not everything needs to be serious.
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
Shawn, my POV is that there is no evidence of doping and we should give Sky the benefit of the doubt. While i personally think they are clean, others can think they are dirty, to state that they are cheating is going a bit far. Without proof you can not make that statement. You should also relax a little bit as you seem to be wound up over all this. Chill out mate.
ShawnB More than 1 year ago
Funny, I think the individual making seventeen posts on one article is likely the one wound up over this. If cycling has taught you any one thing in the last decade, it's that it is beyond foolish to 'extend the benefit of the doubt' to people who relentlessly give only verbal assurances about cleanliness, while avoiding any real effort to back it up with metrics, published data, or meaningful transparency. How many times do you want to be fooled?
mike73nz More than 1 year ago
making 17 posts or even 100 doesn't make you wound up, replying as you did to a tongue in cheek comment suggests that you do. I understand your view that Sky might not be clean as all other teams and riders might not be clean. My point and reason to responding to others views is it is a big leap to be skeptical about a team to be 100% convinced that they are doping. I know you have not said that they are, however, others have.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
ShawnB your comment is right on the mark.
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
DB needs to stop giving interviews like this. His words dont seem to reassure that Sky has nothing to hide. The comment on coke, ecstacy, etc. are uncalled for. The irresponsible comments leads me to wonder why the uk police doesnt investigate whether this chap has really taken these stuff. DB is making contradicting statements here. On the one hand he says that once once a doper always a doper. Now in this interview he says that dopers can be rehabilitated. As a respected member managing a very good team, he should refrain from making such comments. DB needs to stop making comments that associate him with USPS or LA. The more he talks the harder it gets to actually believe him. Oh, and to say clean riders cannot launch repeated attacks is pure BS. school kids drinking milk can do it. Even dopers can't become superman. What chemicals can give is only marginal gains to high quality athletes. The so called old racers, who were capable of launching repeated attacks, would still have launched more than one attack if they were riding clean. These guys could do it without looking at some meter indicating how much watts are being put, or their heartbeats as well. DB needs to come out and apologize for such a rash comment.
ventoux67 More than 1 year ago
Dead right old son