Doubt has arisen over Chris Froome’s confidence in Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, as the three-time Tour de France champion failed to clearly endorse his boss during a pre-season media gathering in Monaco on Friday.
Brailsford has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks as controversies have rocked Team Sky and British Cycling following revelations of Bradley Wiggins’ TUE use and the ‘mystery medical package’ couriered from the UK to France for his use at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.
Brailsford's initial attempts at explaining the story away - he claimed that Simon Cope, who delivered the package, was on his way to visit Emma Pooley and that Wiggins couldn't have been treated with the contents on the bus as the bus had left while he was still on podium duties - were swiftly debunked, and he admitted to shortcomings in his handling of the situation as he found himself giving evidence in a parliamentary hearing last month.
It was at that hearing that he finally revealed the contents of the package, explaining that the Team Sky doctor, Richard Freeman, had told him it was the decongestant fluimuicil, though British Cycling have thus far been unable to produce documentary evidence to substantiate that claim.
"My values haven’t changed,” he later added. "I’ve always been very focused in terms of my stance on doping, my stance on riding clean, showing people that it is possible to win the Tour de France clean, to win multiple Tour de Frances clean. That’s what I’m going to continue to do going forward.”