Barring disaster, Chris Froome will be wheeling his way down the Champs–Élysées in Paris this Sunday to win his second Tour de France. A great achievement for the Kenyan-born Brit, but sadly some people have been pointing fingers of accusation at him and Team Sky that something has not been right because of the high quality nature of his performances:- in effect they’ve been calling him a cheat, but absolutely no evidence has been produced whatsoever. It’s left the 30-year-old and his boss, Sir Dave Brailsford having to justify themselves everytime some so-called expert rushes to the media and spouts an accusation that they just can’t back up with any hard facts.
There’s absolutely no doubt that proven cheats like previous multi- Tour “winner” Lance Armstrong have a lot to answer for in casting aspersions on anybody who does well in one of the great sporting events. A psychologist called Pierre Sallet popped up on French TV with figures that suggested that something was untoward with Froome’s outstanding performance in stage 10, and footage was screened of Armstrong alongside Froome’s climb on that day! The word slander immediately springs to mind, and Team Sky produced all their own data at a news conference which told a different story.
|Very telling as well was a BBC interview this week with David Walsh of the Sunday Times who blew the lid on Lance Armstrong after a lengthy investigation. “I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the people around Chris Froome”, said Walsh, “and we are now three years into the Froome story. At the three-year point into my investigation into Lance Armstrong, I had six people in his team who told me he doped.”|
|“I haven’t had one person, who works with Sky now or who was sacked by Sky, who has given me anything to go on or investigate. In fairness to Chris Froome, my conclusion has to be that I’ve seen nothing that indicates he dopes and I’m inclined to believe him when he says he doesn’t. It doesn’t mean I know, but I certainly believe his claims.”
Froome needs to be lauded and applauded, and there’s a sense as well that there’s a lot of jealousy over the professionalism that Team Sky handle cycling, and they rightly want to keep some of their techniques under wraps to stop their opponents getting a competitive advantage. So, let’s applaud Froome on Sunday, and his sniping critics should put up or shut up!