Sir Jim Ratcliffe — Sir Jim Ratcliffe exclusive: The reasons Dave Brailsford still has my support – PA
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the financial backer of Ineos Grenadiers, has given Sir Dave Brailsford his “full support” in the wake of the Richard Freeman medical tribunal scandal, saying he is aware that cycling his historical issues but that he believes in the team principal and his squad.
Freeman, the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor was found guilty by a medical tribunal earlier this month of ordering banned testosterone to the national velodrome in May 2011 “knowing or believing” that it was intended to dope an athlete.
No athlete was ever named by the tribunal, and no evidence of doping was found. But there have been calls for Brailsford, who was performance director of British Cycling and in charge of Team Sky, to be suspended pending a full investigation. Brailsford has not spoken publicly since the ruling on March 12. The Ineos Grenadiers team principal has claimed in the past that he knew nothing about the package and has consistently denied his athletes have ever cheated. Ineos Grenadiers said in a statement that they would continue to cooperate fully with UK Anti-Doping, who have charged Freeman with two rule violations.
Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man and founder and co-owner of Ineos, said when he took over in May 2019 that his company had done “due diligence” and that he would withdraw his funding if he ever found that doping had taken place on his watch.
In an interview with Telegraph Sport on Tuesday, he repeated that claim. “This happened what, 10 years ago?” Ratcliffe said. “My principal concern is where we are now and how we conduct ourselves now. From the beginning, it was apparent that if there was ever any sense of that going on in our team, I’d walk away from it immediately. And nothing’s changed in that regard. In my opinion, you haven’t accomplished anything if you’ve done it by cheating. There’s no honor in that.