After reportedly declining to sign a joint rider statement supporting Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford last week, Chris Froome has issued a statement of his own saying that he “understands why people feel let down” and admitting that “mistakes have been made”.
However Froome started by expressing disappointment about the media coverage of recent controversies surrounding the team, such as the therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) of his erstwhile team-mate Bradley Wiggins, and the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to the team and Wiggins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
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“It disappoints me hugely to see the way in which Team Sky has been portrayed by the media recently,” Froome said in his statement.
“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.”
Froome goes on to discuss his relationship with Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, who has faced calls from some quarters to resign from his role in the face of the controversies surrounding the team.
Having won three Tours de France under Brailsford’s leadership, Froome said that he was grateful for the support he has received, and is confident that Brailsford has put in place the protocols to prevent the team making similar mistakes to those that it has made in the past.
“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 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.”
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Finally, Froome said that he and the rest of the team will be doing everything in their power to restore public confidence in the team’s credibility.
“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 has previously distanced himself from the controversies surrounding the team, in January making the distinction between his values and the values of the team, and pointing out that he had turned down a TUE for an infection during the 2015 Tour de France.
The 31-year-old hasn’t raced with the team since the Herald Sun Tour in early February, spending a couple of weeks training in South Africa with Geraint Thomas, who has been vocal in his support for Brailsford and in his frustration at the press coverage surrounding the team.
Froome’s next race will be the Volta a Catalunya which starts on March 20.