Chris Froome backs Sir Dave Brailsford but admits Team Sky must learn from mistakes - Road Cycling UK

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Chris Froome backs Sir Dave Brailsford but admits Team Sky must learn from mistakes

Tour de France champion disappointed by media portrayal of Team Sky

Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome backed Team Sky supremo Sir Dave Brailsford but admitted the team have to learn from the recent controversies in which they have become embroiled.

Froome, who will bid for a third consecutive Tour de France title this summer, and fourth in five years, has remained largely anonymous as the team fought allegations regarding a mystery medical package being delivered to the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011.

Ordered by Dr Richard Freeman for use on race winner and then team leader Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky insist the package contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil but have no medical records to back their claim.

Tour de France champion Chris Froome has backed Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford (pic: Sirotti)

The lack of medical records left their reputation ‘in tatters’ according to Damien Collins MP, the chairman of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Select Committee, but Team Sky hit back in a statement outlining the changes made to their medical governance in the nearly six years since that race.

And while Froome apologised on behalf of himself and his team-mates, the 31-year-old insisted that portrayal of Team Sky was not reflective of his own beliefs.

“It disappoints me hugely to see the way in which Team Sky has been portrayed by the media recently,” he said in a statement published by BBC Sport. “It does not reflect the support crew and the riders that I see around me.

“At the same time, I completely understand why people feel let down by the way in which the situation has been handled, and going forward we need to do better.

“I would like to apologise for this on behalf of myself and the other riders of Team Sky who feel passionately about our sport and winning clean. I believe in the people around me, and what we are doing.”

Sir Dave Brailsford’s role in the recent controversies surrounding Team Sky has brought his position with the team into question (pic – Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

On Brailsford, whose own role in the controversy has attracted criticism after he initially claimed Simon Cope – who travelled to Geneva to deliver the package – was there to see Emma Pooley, who was in fact racing in Spain at the time, Froome threw his support behind him.

“With respect to Dave Brailsford, he has created one of the best sports teams in the world. Without Dave B, there is no Team Sky,” he continued.

“He has supported me throughout the last seven years of my career and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities and the experiences I’ve had.

“By his own admission, mistakes have been made, but protocols have been put in place to ensure that those same mistakes will not be made again.

“I know it will take time for faith to be restored, but I will do my utmost to ensure that happens, along with everyone else at Team Sky.”

Froome is expected to race his first UCI WorldTour stage race of the season later this month, at the Volta a Catalunya, before his Tour de France preparations are stepped up.

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