Walsh defiant after Sky dupes him
The fallout from the Fancy Bear hack into the WADA/UCI medical records continues to damage everyone involved. Tour winner Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky have taken a massive hit to their supposedly clean reputation.
The latest victim is crusading anti-doping cycling journalist David Walsh. This is the man who received all the credit and the book and movie profit from taking down Lance Armstrong. (Never mind that it was actually former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis and Travis Tygart of the US Anti-doping agency that did most of the work.)
Walsh went on to more acclaim, another book and even more financial reward after chronicling his time with Team Sky. He was supposedly give 100% total access to the staff, riders and medical people. In that book, Inside Team Sky, Walsh essentially gave them his blessing as a clean team.
Now, however, in the aftermath of the Fancy Bear leak of Wiggins three TUE’s for a powerful allergy steroid with several well-documented performance benefits, Walsh admits he may have been duped. In the headline for his Sunday Times story, he writes “It looks bad, Brad.”
Well, it also looks very bad for Walsh. Fellow Irish journalist and anti-doping wild man Paul Kimmage let him have it in the press and on video. The ugly gist was that Walsh was taken in by Sky and that Walsh for more than happy to financially profit from the arrangement.
It’s quite a damning accusation from one journalist towards another. Basically Kimmage claims Walsh put profit and fame before his ethics as a writer. What Kimmage states is that Walsh was more than happy to go after an American hero in Lance Armstrong but far less willing to do so with a wildly popular British hero.
Not surprisingly, Walsh doesn’t see the situation through the same dark lens. His argument is surprisingly weak for an investigative reporter, a variant on “well, nothing I can do if people lie to me.” Then, in an even stranger turn, he insists that, having been duped, he’s the best man to expose the questionable practices at Sky. Struggling with that one.
Finally,Walsh wraps up his justifications with a vindictive threat. “I feel I have a better grip on this story than pretty much any journalist out there. And I think Dave Brailsford will regret the day he invited me into the team.”
Ahh, so now he’s going to get the truth?
According to Walsh, the issue of suspect TUE’s are “going to leave Bradley Wiggins with a little cloud over his achievement of being the first British rider to win the Tour de France.”
We’d argue that there’s a pretty good-sized cloud over Walsh’s head, too.