Tour de France: Sir Dave Brailsford defends Team Sky as Chris Froome nears new deal

Froome (right) is close to extending his stay with Team Sky who are run by Brailsford (left)
Froome (right) is close to extending his stay with Team Sky who are run by Brailsford (left)

Sir Dave Brailsford says he is "going nowhere" and insists Team Sky's credibility is intact as they prepare for the start of the Tour de France.

The team principal has faced questions over banned substance use and British Cycling has been investigated due to issues during his time in charge.

But ahead of the start of the Tour on Saturday, Brailsford said he is "proud" and "patriotic" of achievements.

Tour champion Chris Froome said he had "no trust issues" with Team Sky.

'I can't make it more plain' - Froome

Froome is seeking a fourth Tour de France win
Froome is seeking a fourth Tour de France win

Froome, 32, is seeking a fourth Tour de France title and revealed he is close to signing a new contract with the outfit which would extend his stay to 2021.

But since his win in 2016, Team Sky have been criticised for the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions and questioned over the contents of a medical package sent to Sir Bradley Wiggins at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011.

Amid widespread criticism of the team, Froome - who has not won a race this season - conceded he could "sympathise" with fans who doubted the credibility of his performances.

"Certainly I've learned to grow a thicker skin over the years and I understand where it's coming from given cycling's history," said Froome, who had urine thrown at him during the 2015 Tour where he claimed fans called him a "doper".

"I do sympathise with people who have had their doubts because I've had my doubts as well about performances post the early 2000s. I can see where those questions are coming from.

"I don't have any trust issues, I can't make it any more plain."

'I'm going nowhere' - Brailsford

Brailsford faced a Culture, Media and Sport Committee in December to discuss doping in the sport and said the package delivered to Wiggins prior to the first of his two wins at the Criterium du Dauphine was a "decongestant".

Team Sky are seeking a fifth win in six years at this year's Tour and Brailsford is adamant they have never strayed from their "zero tolerance" policy on doping ahead of the off in Dusseldorf.

"I've been involved in this sport a long time, and I've tried to do it absolutely in the way that I've always thought it should be done," he said.

"I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I'm proud of cycling in Britain, I'm proud of everything that's been achieved, I'm proud of these guys, proud of Team Sky. I love it, I'm going nowhere."

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