Regrets and condolences, dearly beloved, it’s time to bury Team Sky.
The final nail in the coffin comes from former Team Sky doctor Fabio Bartalucci. He revealed in an interview with cyclingnews that back in 2011, when he worked with the team, it had an intravenous recovery program. This kind of recovery program was controversial in cycling and the UCI finally enacted a ‘No Needles policy right before the 2011 Giro d’Italia.
Sky refused all comment — now standard operating procedure for a squad supposedly built on transparency — except for a generic statement about rule following, which is a sad joke at this point given all the grey area abuse over at Sky.
First, there was the Fancy Bear hack that uncovered the TUE abuse for Bradley Wiggins’ use of Triamcinolone. Then came the UK Anti-doping investigation into Jiffygate and the subsequent discovery that the team had suspiciously lax and non-existent medical records. Then four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome tested positive for a dramatic excess of the asthma medication salbutamol in his urine during the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.
Puff Daddy pisses away a grand tour victory and a World bronze medal. Cough, cough.
Now, comes more foul damnation from Dr. Bartalucci that things were far from ethical and honest at the British Squad. There’s little need to repeat the particulars but the overall impact with bombshell-strength.
In all honesty, this feels like the final tipping point in a story that’s been building for years. There’s an epic quality to it that reminds one of the fall of Lance Armstrong. The brash and pompous new team shouting clean cycling at the top of their lungs. Only to fall prey to grand ambitions that slowly rotted their ethical stance and moral obligations to the sport.
Setting aside the relentless arrogance of team manager David Brailsford, it’s a huge disappointment for all fans of pro cycling. History repeats itself, names change but the crimes don’t, cynicism wins again over naiveté and trust.
You could argue with Sky’s pompous PR about doing things the right way but that doesn’t mean we didn’t all want to believe things would be different. Team Sky won plenty of grand tours but failed the sport.