Geraint Thomas says he is confident that cycling is now “one of the cleanest sports around” after admitting that he would not have won the Tour de France during the sport’s dark ages. “I think what has gone in the past has helped clean up the sport for sure,” said Thomas before his first race
Geraint Thomas says he is confident that cycling is now “one of the cleanest sports around” after admitting that he would not have won the Tour de France during the sport’s dark ages.
“I think what has gone in the past has helped clean up the sport for sure,” said Thomas before his first race of the season, the five-stage Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain. “I am confident that it is one of the cleanest sports around. That’s great because there’s no way I would have won the Tour all those years ago. I am fortunate to be at the age I am riding my bike now. I think the sport is in a great period.”
However the 32-year-old Welshman conceded that the legacy of his sport’s past meant that some would inevitably question his results. “Obviously when it comes to what people think about us and this and that, what can I do?” he said. “What I say they are going to spin that however they want . I’ll just crack on and go about my business as I always do.
“I am not going to stand up and sing a song and dance, but I do everything the right way. I train hard, work hard and have a lot of support around me. Obviously if people do stuff I can’t do anything about that. But I am sure the mindset of the peloton has certainly shifted a lot since the dark ages.”
Thomas also confirmed that he will miss May’s Giro d’Italia to be in the best possible shape to defend his Tour title, having become the third Briton to win the race after Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome’s victories.
“The Giro feels like unfinished business and I wanted to think about that,” said Thomas, who crashed while in second place at the 2017 race. “Maybe I’ll race it next year but this year has always been about the Tour.”
“I did not want to jeopardise the chances of the Tour for anything this year. As defending champion I feel as if I have to go back and want to be in the best shape possible.”
Meanwhile Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal, which was due to begin on Wednesday, was adjourned until Friday after his legal team requested a delay. While the application was heard in private, such an adjournment is normally given for health reasons or in exceptional circumstances.
Freeman, who faces a series of serious allegations including that he ordered banned testosterone for an unnamed rider while working for Team Sky and British Cycling, was not present when his legal representative Mary O’Rourke, who acted for Dr Eva Carneiro in her claim for constructive dismissal against Chelsea Football Club, requested an adjournment. After agreeing to hear the request, the tribunal chairman, Stephen Mooney, warned that it was likely that another adjournment would be sought when the hearing resumed on Friday.
“The reasons for the adjournment cannot be made public at this time,” he said. “But I can say this, there is likely to be a further application on Friday morning which will involve legal argument and it is very likely to be held in private as well.”
Freeman is due to face an allegation that he ordered 30 sachets of Testogel, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list, in May 2011 to be sent to the Manchester velodrome to “administer to an athlete to improve their athletic performance”.
The 57-year-old, who denies any wrongdoing, is also accused of lying to other members of British Cycling about ordering the drug, saying it was a mistake by the Oldham-based supplier Fit4Sport. He is also alleged to have “made untrue statements” when questioned by UK Anti-Doping in February 2017, saying he had ordered Testogel for a non-athlete member of staff but later returned it.