'Chris Froome refused to sign a statement supporting Dave Brailsford, and I'd do the same'

Former Team Sky rider Nicolas Roche says that he supports Chris Froome's decision not to come out in defence of Dave Brailsford

Nicholas Roche says that he supports Chris Froome's decision not to put his name to a statement supporting Dave Brailsford

(Image credit: Watson)

Former Team Sky rider Nicolas Roche has said that he supports Chris Froome's decision not to sign a joint statement backing Dave Brailsford, saying that he would do the same.

Writing in the Irish Independent, Roche, who now rides for BMC Racing, said that "something just doesn't add up" about Team Sky's story surrounding the package delivered to the team at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

>>> Everything you need to know about the British Cycling/Sky mystery package saga

"The controversy surrounding Team Sky at the moment, I believe, concerns just a few people but is tarnishing the credibility of anyone who has ever ridden for the team, including me," Roche wrote.

"Almost every day since the story broke, something new seems to emerge: mysterious jiffy bags, missing medical records, stolen laptops, and we all find out about it at the same time from the internet.

"Maybe I don't have all the facts but something just doesn't add up."

>>> Team Sky chair backs Dave Brailsford as team hits back at 'inaccurate' and 'untrue' assumptions

Roche goes on to say that he supports Froome's decision to turn down the opportunity of joining his fellow riders in signing a joint statement in support of Brailsford.

The statement had been intended to be a show of collective support for Brailsford from the team's riders, but was shelved on Tuesday when start rider Froome refused to sign.

"During the week, it was reported that Chris Froome was one of the riders who refused to sign a statement giving his support of beleaguered team boss Dave Brailsford and, in fairness, I probably would have done the same.

"If I've learned anything from the past it's that you can't put your hand in the fire for anyone."

Roche is writing a daily column for the newspaper as he competes in Paris-Nice, which he used on Wednesday to praise fellow Irishman Sam Bennett's stage win, before turning to the subject of his former team on Thursday.

>>> Geraint Thomas 'frustrated' and 'annoyed' by Team Sky press coverage

"As a former Team Sky rider, I already felt obligated to mention the ongoing saga about the team. In fact I would have done it yesterday but I felt Sam Bennett's fantastic win deserved the spotlight more.

"It would make my life a hell of a lot easier if I just put my head down and kept riding my bike, but even though the controversy surrounding Team Sky revolves mainly around the 2011 and '12 seasons - three years before I joined the team - people obviously want to know what I saw in my time there in 2015 and 2016.

"The truth is, in my two years at Team Sky I was never asked to do anything that broke or even bent the anti-doping laws, either legally or ethically."

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