Geraint Thomas recently sent a spade to the “80s,90s” runners. What to question when the Ineos team, formerly Sky, has faced heavy doping suspicions in recent years.
The decision of the organizers of the Tour of Italy to review the route of the 13th stage due to weather conditions has sparked a lively controversy. “We are destroying our sport,” fumed Marc Madiot on RMC. “At some point, we may have to stop standardizing everything as we do today. I believe that we have to look at the interest of cycling, the very essence of cycling and what has made the fame, the legend of this sport”, engaged Cyrille Guimard with Cyclism’Actu.
These reproaches are difficult to hear for the riders of the peloton. Witness the reaction full of innuendo from Geraint Thomas, who recovered the pink jersey on Tuesday. “There are also a lot of things that happened in the 1980s/90s that we don’t do anymore. And we’re proud of that. So they can say whatever they want.” he launched, evoking without naming it the doping which had run in the peloton.
Geraint Thomas’ attack is nevertheless puzzling. The Sky team, which became Ineos Grenadiers in 2019 and with which the Welshman has officiated since 2010, is indeed heavily suspected of doping. Richard Freeman, who was the team doctor between 2009 and 2015, was thus found guilty of having ordered testosterone for doping purposes, in March 2021. The Council of British Doctors thus estimated that he knew “that it should be administered to an athlete to improve his athletic performance” and did not hesitate to remove him from the order of doctors.
The heavy accusations of British parliamentarians
Similarly, in 2018, British parliamentarians published a report in which they accused the Sky cycling team of using corticosteroids to improve the performance of its riders and not just to treat them. Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France in 2012, was particularly targeted. “We believe this potent corticosteroid was used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders (on the team) supporting him, for the Tour de France,” they wrote, adding: “The goal was not for medical treatment, but to improve his power-to-weight ratio before the race. »
Christopher Froome had also undergone an abnormal doping control during the Tour of Spain 2017, which he had won. Salbutamol, a bronchodilator, was found in high quantities.