Sir Dave Brailsford has made an extraordinary attack on a journalist on the second rest day of the Tour de France. Barry Ryan from Cycling news was stopped from attending the team’s media event in their hotel outside Le Puy-en-Velay.
Brailsford singled out Ryan, making it clear he was not welcome, saying: “You’re not invited. We have invited the people we want to speak to. You’ve been writing sh*t about me.”
Press were initially told by the team that they could listen to the three media ‘grabs’ with Froome but not ask questions. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and conciliatory. However Brailsford then came over to a group of journalists and targeted Ryan, telling him he was not welcome.
Cycling news commented “Cyclingnews has always strived to cover Team Sky and Dave Brailsford fairly and accurately. We have reported on the huge success of the team since 2010 and also the British Parliamentary investigation into the mysterious Jiffy Bag that was couriered by Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Criterium d Dauphine. Brailsford has refused to answer questions about that and the on-going investigation into wrongdoing at Team Sky by UK Anti-doping.”
Brailsford appeared angry about a recent feature written by Ryan and published on the eve of the Tour de France called “Strong and stable? Dave Brailsford’s year of saying nothing”.
When Ryan asked Brailsford what parts of the piece before the Tour de France he considered inaccurate, Brailsford replied: “I’m not getting into that. It was opinion, you write sh*t.
“We make ourselves available, we answer all the questions and you write this sh*t.”
The heated exchanged continued. Ryan suggested that the only other person to act like this (with the media) was Johan Bruyneel when he barred Sporza at the 2009 Tour de France.
Brailsford replied: “Are you accusing me of running a doping programme as well?”
Ryan said: “Well, UK Anti-Doping are investigating that…”
At that point Brailsford said, “You can stick it up your a*se” and walked off.
Team Sky refused to make an official comment on the incident. Brailsford refused to apologise or backtrack on his comments. He joined Froome and the rest of Team Sky on a training ride. The team made it clear to a number British print media that he would not be giving interviews on his return.