Dave Brailsford has made an extraordinary attack on Cyclingnews on the second rest day of the Tour de France by trying to stop reporter Barry Ryan from attending the team's media event in their hotel outside Le Puy-en-Velay.
Brailsford singled out Ryan, making it clear he was not welcome, saying: "You're not invited. We have invited the people we want to speak to. You've been writing shit about me."
Team Sky had announced they would hold a mixed zone for broadcast media before Chris Froome and his teammate left for a rest-day training ride. However numerous print and digital media from several different countries turned up at the Team Sky hotel, keen to hear what Froome had to say about the Tour de France.
Cyclingnews was initially told by the team that they could listen to the three media 'grabs' with Froome but not ask questions. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and conciliatory. However Brailsford then came over to a group of journalists and targeted Ryan, telling him he was not welcome. Other journalists who witnessed Brailsford's personal attack on Ryan appeared shocked by his tone.
Cyclingnews has always strived to cover Team Sky and Dave Brailsford fairly and accurately. We have reported on the huge success of the team since 2010 and also the British Parliamentary investigation into the mysterious Jiffy Bag that was couriered by Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Criterium d Dauphine. Brailsford has refused to answer questions about that and the on-going investigation into wrongdoing at Team Sky by UK Anti-doping.
Last week Brailsford refused to allowCyclingnews Editor-in-Chief Daniel Benson to participate in an interview he gave after the stage to Chambery, insisting he move away.
This time he appeared angry about a special feature written by Ryan and published on the eve of the Tour de France called "Strong and stable? Dave Brailsford's year of saying nothing".
When Ryan asked Brailsford what parts of the piece before the Tour de France he considered inaccurate, Brailsford replied: "I'm not getting into that. It was opinion, you write shit.
"We make ourselves available, we answer all the questions and you write this shit."
The heated exchanged continued. Ryan suggested that the only other person to act like this (with the media) was Bruyneel when he barred Sporza at the 2009 Tour de France.
Brailsford replied: "Are you accusing me of running a doping programme as well?"
Ryan said: "Well, UK Anti-Doping are investigating that..."
At that point Brailsford said, "You can stick it up your arse" and walked off.
Team Sky refused to make an official comment on the incident. Brailsford refused to apologise or backtrack on his comments. He joined Froome and the rest of Team Sky on a training ride. The team made it clear to a number British print media that he would not be giving interviews on his return.
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