I'm on the fence. My day job is in sports data but I have an MA in History that taught me to be empirical about evidence. I have read the Clinic for about 4 years now, but watched cycling since I was very small (I'm 32), so my background knowledge is good enough to make a relatively unbiased judgement.
I'm not too enamoured with SKY being involved in cycling the way they are, purely from a financial point of view. Their dominance will drive some small teams towards either doping or folding, neither of which are positive things for the sport. I also think that it's incredibly suspect how many of their domestiques become super-human. Froome I'm less bothered about. I kind of think he possibly did dope back in '11 with the old convenient illness, but equally, I've not seen any proof, and he did have some pedigree - even if it has been downplayed.
In terms of evidence, I fundamentally disagree with the idea that we can compare the doped era with today's cyclists. The professionalism on a team like SKY or the other big teams far outstrips that of Festina, Banesto, even USP to a degree. I think back then, so much went into doping that riders didn't push themselves like teams are now. It's a bit like the 100m record - there's a degree of sporting evolution that has to be accounted for in performances, with doping or without. That's why - within reason - I don't like the trend of saying 'Quintana went over in the same time as DOPED RIDERS' when it was 15+ years ago. Almost every athletics record falls as long as athletes refine training.
I also sometimes get annoyed with the anti-English bias on here. Obviously I am English, but I've spent considerable time in France and Spain, which helps me understand the frustration. Even so, the most ridiculous thing I've seen on here is a conspiracy involving Universities helping teams to dope. You have no idea how hard pressed universities are to stay viable. The idea that this would get past the multiple layers of ethics-based protocols that exist to prevent the uni being splashed all over the Daily Mail - and believe me, they'd LOVE that - is farcical.
Finally, my last bit of SKY propaganda
(seriously, I'm unbiased here) is that it's odd that nobody has ever ratted on them. I know Walsh is a terrible source, but he's right, plenty of people will have an axe to grind personally with Brailsford, Kerrison or Froome himself. Why not blow it up? It makes little sense.
I believe SKY have something going on. I think it may be legal, but borderline. I can't explain some of the performances I've seen from Porte and Thomas, but then they're possible, and they've shown they're human at times too. I thought Thomas and Porte's evident collapse towards the end of this years TDF might be staged, since realistically 'G' (which is really annoying, call him his bloody name!) wasn't going to make the podium...
In short, I don't know. Nobody is providing hard evidence against sky beyond the circumstantial. I find it hard to buy into the cleanliness of them, but I find it equally difficult to condemn them on the same lack of evidence. It's like an internal stalemate.
I do think though, that SKY could handle the PR better. They want to be a 'clean' team, and that's fine, but that means giving unprecedented access to the media and independents. The fact they seem just as reticent as old teams to do that is another red mark against them.