Brailsford Should Stand Down

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Oct 17, 2012
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I seem to remember Brailsford telling either Ned Boulting or Gary Imlach in an interview at the 2009 prologue, when he was setting up the Sky team, that he wouldn't consider signing Contador because of his "history". This was obviously before he got nabbed and begs the question if he knew about Contador why was he "not aware" of the other people he's employed with a shady past. Can't find a link for the interview so my memory may be playing tricks.
 
Oct 28, 2012
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Franklin said:
Sorry Dr., usually I fully agree with you, but what you said there is what I railed against and which I still find complete nonsense.

They hired him for his experience: Thus they looked into his past.

De Jong could have been a plausible oversight, but Leinders? No.
It doesn't really matter either way... He looks untenable either way.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Franklin said:
Sorry Dr., usually I fully agree with you, but what you said there is what I railed against and which I still find complete nonsense.

They hired him for his experience: Thus they looked into his past.

De Jong could have been a plausible oversight, but Leinders? No.
Again - its not difficult - I was highlighting that it would be complete nonsense:

"It would not just be "quite possible" but completely plausible that Brailsford did not know about his Leinders past if he did not ask him directly"

If you are hiring someone to be part of your 'clean team' then the first thing you do is check their history and then ask them directly about their history.

Either a) DB knew his history and did not care or b) he did not ask, which is because he does not care or pure incompetence.

Either would be grounds for DB to stand aside.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Spencer the Half Wit said:
I seem to remember Brailsford telling either Ned Boulting or Gary Imlach in an interview at the 2009 prologue, when he was setting up the Sky team, that he wouldn't consider signing Contador because of his "history". This was obviously before he got nabbed and begs the question if he knew about Contador why was he "not aware" of the other people he's employed with a shady past. Can't find a link for the interview so my memory may be playing tricks.
Not sure that Contador was mentioned by name in the interview that I saw. If I remember the inference was that it was AC. I don't know if there's a clip anywhere.

Brailsford on ITV4

Unless it was a different interview.
 
Franklin said:
Does this count? ;)
I suspect that Leinders jumped before he was pushed, probably because he wanted to avoid heat from this. But I can't record it just because I think that's what happened.

If the source actually said Leinders quit over his role in the Rasmussen case then I would record it.

The speaker "kept aloof" on the matter, so I can't record it. What I think is the same as you. :D

I really dislike it when people use Dopeology as some sort of proof that someone is clean or not. That's not what the website is about.
 
bobbins said:
It's worth noting that he spent the season before the Sky launch following the pro road circuit around europe and built up an extensive database of riders he would like to hire. I can't believe that his research didn't include staff and I find it harder to believe that he wasn't aware of riders history. He knew not to recruit Ballan which was a rumour at the time so anyone who thinks he hasn't got his ear to the ground as far as dodgy riders is concerned is very much mistaken. His right hand man (Fran Millar) was a riders agent so has direct access to speak to riders and surely find out more than we can.

If he was naive and misled by the riders, surely that is as bad as overlooking their history until now.
But if he had his ear to the ground enough to not recruit Ballan (which as you say was a rumour at the time)... then how come he didn't have his ear to the ground enough not to recruit Barry? There are plausible reasons for this, but none of them fully fit the zero tolerance position.

Hypothesis 1: Brailsford didn't know Barry had any suspect history whatsoever, but did know Ballan had.
Conclusion 1: If Hypothesis 1 is correct, Brailsford is shockingly naïve and/or didn't do the research regarding Barry.

Hypothesis 2: Brailsford knew Barry had some suspect history but felt that he was no longer any problem; Ballan on the other hand may have been dodgy on a continuing basis.
Conclusion 2: Brailsford's zero tolerance policy is misleadingly named, and actually has more to do with Vaughters' policy, in that he was willing to take on riders with possible histories, so long as they were committed to performing clean on his watch.

Hypothesis 3: Brailsford knew Barry had some suspect history just as Ballan did, but as there were rumblings of investigations in Italy indirectly linked to Sella's testimonies and this was before the Landis emails, Brailsford considered the USPS guys to be 'safe' to pick up but Ballan not to be.
Conclusion 3: Brailsford's zero tolerance policy was merely lip service and he picked and chose riders with histories based on how they'd fit the template and how likely their indiscretions were to become known.

All three have plausibility, ranging from naïveté to conspiracy theory, but all three share one thing in common: the conclusions that must logically be drawn from all three don't paint Brailsford's anti-doping and attention-to-detail policies in the best light.
del1962 said:
All I am saying that if a site like dopology had not picked up on leinders which you say is pretty close to a doping bible, then it is quite possible that Brailsford would not have known anything of Leinders involvement.

Did the thread on Leinders start before he was used by Sky?
I'm sure they'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Dopology is a labour of love for L'arriviste, not a paid job. Even if it is, it's a catalogue of doping cases for information purposes. Dave Brailsford has the specific job of recruiting people for a cycling team - one with a multi-million-euro budget - and given that the team's policy is supposed to be zero tolerance and attention to detail, you would think that they'd be able to put together a more comprehensive background check to employees given the level of accountability. I mean, L'arriviste puts in multiple sources for something relatively minor league like Blaž Furdi of Tirol Cycling Team returning an amphetamine positive at an Austrian national calendar race.
L'arriviste said:
I suspect that Leinders jumped before he was pushed, probably because he wanted to avoid heat from this. But I can't record it just because I think that's what happened.

If the source actually said Leinders quit over his role in the Rasmussen case then I would record it.

The speaker "kept aloof" on the matter, so I can't record it. What I think is the same as you. :D

I really dislike it when people use Dopeology as some sort of proof that someone is clean or not. That's not what the website is about.
I don't know if he jumped before he was pushed. I think that he would have been pushed anyway, but they hurried through the pushing of him because he was pushed less than 24 hours before the release of the "reasoned decision" papers and affidavits, meaning it was completely buried from even much of the specialist press.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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You've got to admire the way in which "zero tolerance to doping" can actually be interpreted.

Q: "Have you always had a zero tolerance stance against doping?"

A: "Of course. That is the very cornerstone of our approach to cycling"

Q: "Then why is it, only after years into their contracts with you, are you asking your staff about their doping history?"

A: "Obvious! We are now even more zero tolerant than we were when we hired them".

Simply Kidding You.
 
Not only should Brailsford not be sacked, he should (and probably will) get an improved contract. He has won them the TDF with a British rider who doesn't dope and taken the most draconian stance in the peleton against doping.

If I was him I'd stand down and make myself available to the UCI...especially given the events in Switzerland today. He's unlikely to have such a good year in 2013. I'd be out while I was on top, myself.

SKY as an organisation won't be too bothered by doubters in the clinic. As long as they are perceived to be clean by the rest of the cycling audience, they'll be happy.

The only doubt I have about him at the UCI is that I worry he'd start removing the likes of JV and DM from the sport.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
But if he had his ear to the ground enough to not recruit Ballan (which as you say was a rumour at the time)... then how come he didn't have his ear to the ground enough not to recruit Barry? There are plausible reasons for this, but none of them fully fit the zero tolerance position.

Hypothesis 1: Brailsford didn't know Barry had any suspect history whatsoever, but did know Ballan had.
Conclusion 1: If Hypothesis 1 is correct, Brailsford is shockingly naïve and/or didn't do the research regarding Barry.

Hypothesis 2: Brailsford knew Barry had some suspect history but felt that he was no longer any problem; Ballan on the other hand may have been dodgy on a continuing basis.
Conclusion 2: Brailsford's zero tolerance policy is misleadingly named, and actually has more to do with Vaughters' policy, in that he was willing to take on riders with possible histories, so long as they were committed to performing clean on his watch.

Hypothesis 3: Brailsford knew Barry had some suspect history just as Ballan did, but as there were rumblings of investigations in Italy indirectly linked to Sella's testimonies and this was before the Landis emails, Brailsford considered the USPS guys to be 'safe' to pick up but Ballan not to be.
Conclusion 3: Brailsford's zero tolerance policy was merely lip service and he picked and chose riders with histories based on how they'd fit the template and how likely their indiscretions were to become known.

All three have plausibility, ranging from naïveté to conspiracy theory, but all three share one thing in common: the conclusions that must logically be drawn from all three don't paint Brailsford's anti-doping and attention-to-detail policies in the best light.
But are these the only three hypotheses that one could possibly come up with? Or put another way, is there no way that you come up with a plausible hypothesis that does paint Brailsford in a better light. Just off the top of my head, here is hypothesis 4

Brailsford heard some rumours about Barry, but maybe he didn't trust the source, or maybe they were quite vague, or maybe he heard contradictory things (maybe, say Cavendish, who Brailsford trusts and was a team-mate of Barry's put in a good word for him, or something similar). So maybe Brailsford isn't sure what to think about Barry, so maybe he then asks Barry if he's ever doped during the recruitment. Maybe Barry lies to him about his past (which, incidentally Barry has admitted to doing on two separate occasions), but then goes onto sell him on his new clean outlook (and Barry, in general, appears to be one of the peloton's more natural communicators). So, maybe, Barry is both a very good liar about his past, but was also very persuasively honest about his clean outlook for 2010, and maybe Brailsford makes an error of judgement in trusting him. Meanwhile, when he's doing due diligence on Ballan he hear's something from some source he really trusts, and so doesn't even bother asking him.

Conclusion 4: Brailsford is a human being under pressure who makes an honest mistake.

Now. I'm not saying that's what happened here. I have no idea. Generally, as on this forum, in life people have a tendency to hear what they want to hear from any given conversation - and maybe Brailsford liked Barry and wanted to believe him. So it's certainly a possibility, no?
 

Dr. Maserati

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armchairclimber said:
Not only should Brailsford not be sacked, he should (and probably will) get an improved contract. He has won them the TDF with a British rider who doesn't dope and taken the most draconian stance in the peleton against doping.

If I was him I'd stand down and make myself available to the UCI...especially given the events in Switzerland today. He's unlikely to have such a good year in 2013. I'd be out while I was on top, myself.

SKY as an organisation won't be too bothered by doubters in the clinic. As long as they are perceived to be clean by the rest of the cycling audience, they'll be happy.

The only doubt I have about him at the UCI is that I worry he'd start removing the likes of JV and DM from the sport.
Thats interesting.
So - it is not about being clean, it is the perception of being clean.

Ya - Dell Boy should have an interview with himself, look himself in the eye and give himself a raise for the great job he spun.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
I don't know if he jumped before he was pushed. I think that he would have been pushed anyway, but they hurried through the pushing of him because he was pushed less than 24 hours before the release of the "reasoned decision" papers and affidavits, meaning it was completely buried from even much of the specialist press.
I meant that I thought that he jumped before he was pushed from Rabobank. Sorry about that. :)
 

Dr. Maserati

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RownhamHill said:
But are these the only three hypotheses that one could possibly come up with? Or put another way, is there no way that you come up with a plausible hypothesis that does paint Brailsford in a better light. Just off the top of my head, here is hypothesis 4

Brailsford heard some rumours about Barry, but maybe he didn't trust the source, or maybe they were quite vague, or maybe he heard contradictory things (maybe, say Cavendish, who Brailsford trusts and was a team-mate of Barry's put in a good word for him, or something similar). So maybe Brailsford isn't sure what to think about Barry, so maybe he then asks Barry if he's ever doped during the recruitment. Maybe Barry lies to him about his past (which, incidentally Barry has admitted to doing on two separate occasions), but then goes onto sell him on his new clean outlook (and Barry, in general, appears to be one of the peloton's more natural communicators). So, maybe, Barry is both a very good liar about his past, but was also very persuasively honest about his clean outlook for 2010, and maybe Brailsford makes an error of judgement in trusting him. Meanwhile, when he's doing due diligence on Ballan he hear's something from some source he really trusts, and so doesn't even bother asking him.

Conclusion 4: Brailsford is a human being under pressure who makes an honest mistake.

Now. I'm not saying that's what happened here. I have no idea. Generally, as on this forum, in life people have a tendency to hear what they want to hear from any given conversation - and maybe Brailsford liked Barry and wanted to believe him. So it's certainly a possibility, no?
So, if Brailsford felt that there was nothing to worry about with Barry why did DB refuse to let him be interviewed by Kimmage back in 2010!!
 
Jul 17, 2012
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As far as I can see the case being made for Brailsford being fired, or held accountable for and standing down, is hiring staff with suspect histories, either through naivety or through duplicity. Duplicity in that he hired no-one with doping offences, so officially sticking to zero-tolerance, but at the same time hiring the best people for the job while ignoring possible infringements in the past.

So the main accusation is he lied. He didn't need to lie, he could have been like Vaughters and adopted an inclusive policy for repentant ex-dopers but instead he directly stated his intentions as zero-tolerance. Contrast that for a minute with the dismissal of Matt White. This is someone who doped as a rider, and also was fired from Garmin for sending a rider to a doping doctor. His sacking is a legitimate outcome, but I fail to see a crime of equitable seriousness in what Brailsford has done.

It seems the expectation for Brailsford is to be whiter-than-white, hoisted by his own petard for his out-spoken zero-tolerance. While that may have been his intention, faced by a pro-tour full of riders and staff that are various shades of grey all the way through to black, to preserve that purity was next to impossible. He needed experience as well as talent, and in cycling experience comes at a price.

I do feel faced with that harsh realities of success on the road he was forced to relent and the relax that policy. However I don't think that damns him utterly, particularly in the light of his reaction to the USADA report and the subsequent purge.

And yet he gets criticism for that, either that its too little too late, or that he's being too intolerant. The first post in this thread complained he was unable to embrace cycling, 'warts and all' but my feeling is he did, he relented and hired staff with suspect backgrounds because he needed their experience, but even then the taint isn't as deep as it is in other teams. Now he has got stung, caught up in the backlash of Lance and seeing that black heart of cycling dim the achievements he has had on the road.

I think Brailsford certainly deserves scrutiny but I have said before there are far more sinister characters running teams. One of them ran the Orica-GreenEdge team for the last year, and there are others fresh off the road and a juiced career, like the new manager at Astana. For me Brailsford's sins are forgiveable in comparison.
 

Dr. Maserati

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JimmyFingers said:
As far as I can see the case being made for Brailsford being fired, or held accountable for and standing down, is hiring staff with suspect histories, either through naivety or through duplicity. Duplicity in that he hired no-one with doping offences, so officially sticking to zero-tolerance, but at the same time hiring the best people for the job while ignoring possible infringements in the past.

So the main accusation is he lied. He didn't need to lie, he could have been like Vaughters and adopted an inclusive policy for repentant ex-dopers but instead he directly stated his intentions as zero-tolerance. Contrast that for a minute with the dismissal of Matt White. This is someone who doped as a rider, and also was fired from Garmin for sending a rider to a doping doctor. His sacking is a legitimate outcome, but I fail to see a crime of equitable seriousness in what Brailsford has done.

It seems the expectation for Brailsford is to be whiter-than-white, hoisted by his own petard for his out-spoken zero-tolerance. While that may have been his intention, faced by a pro-tour full of riders and staff that are various shades of grey all the way through to black, to preserve that purity was next to impossible. He needed experience as well as talent, and in cycling experience comes at a price.

I do feel faced with that harsh realities of success on the road he was forced to relent and the relax that policy. However I don't think that damns him utterly, particularly in the light of his reaction to the USADA report and the subsequent purge.

And yet he gets criticism for that, either that its too little too late, or that he's being too intolerant. The first post in this thread complained he was unable to embrace cycling, 'warts and all' but my feeling is he did, he relented and hired staff with suspect backgrounds because he needed their experience, but even then the taint isn't as deep as it is in other teams. Now he has got stung, caught up in the backlash of Lance and seeing that black heart of cycling dim the achievements he has had on the road.

I think Brailsford certainly deserves scrutiny but I have said before there are far more sinister characters running teams. One of them ran the Orica-GreenEdge team for the last year, and there are others fresh off the road and a juiced career, like the new manager at Astana. For me Brailsford's sins are forgiveable in comparison.
To the blue - that is not my standard, that is the standard Brailsford set for his team and therefore himself.

He lied - in fact, he continues to do so. No one asked him to lie, but he was attempting to play both sides and he got caught out.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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Dr. Maserati said:
To the blue - that is not my standard, that is the standard Brailsford set for his team and therefore himself.

He lied - in fact, he continues to do so. No one asked him to lie, but he was attempting to play both sides and he got caught out.
You should try highlighting the next line in that sentence and see that is exactly what I was saying. all in all a very succinct summary of what I said, many thanks.
 

Dr. Maserati

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JimmyFingers said:
You should try highlighting the next line in that sentence and see that is exactly what I was saying. all in all a very succinct summary of what I said, many thanks.
So, you agree that he got caught out being a liar.
Do you therefore agree that the obvious course of action for him is to step down?
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Dr. Maserati said:
So, you agree that he got caught out being a liar.
Do you therefore agree that the obvious course of action for him is to step down?
I just don't see how anyone could justify he stays in a professional team. He employed people who were guilty of past crimes. That's massively poor management, fall on your own sword for the benefit of Team Sky.
 
Bexon30 said:
I just don't see how anyone could justify he stays in a professional team. He employed people who were guilty of past crimes. That's massively poor management, fall on your own sword for the benefit of Team Sky.
Dear Santa,
I have been a very good boy all year. All I want for Christmas is for you to make that nasty Mr Brailsford vanish, so my favorit team can win some races......


Seriously, every team boss has employed personnel with past crimes.
Is Shayne Bannan going to resign for signing Matt White?
How 'bout BMC's Illustrious GM?

Another "Lets go off the deep end over Sky and ignore everybody else" thread.
 
RownhamHill said:
But are these the only three hypotheses that one could possibly come up with? Or put another way, is there no way that you come up with a plausible hypothesis that does paint Brailsford in a better light. Just off the top of my head, here is hypothesis 4

Brailsford heard some rumours about Barry, but maybe he didn't trust the source, or maybe they were quite vague, or maybe he heard contradictory things (maybe, say Cavendish, who Brailsford trusts and was a team-mate of Barry's put in a good word for him, or something similar). So maybe Brailsford isn't sure what to think about Barry, so maybe he then asks Barry if he's ever doped during the recruitment. Maybe Barry lies to him about his past (which, incidentally Barry has admitted to doing on two separate occasions), but then goes onto sell him on his new clean outlook (and Barry, in general, appears to be one of the peloton's more natural communicators). So, maybe, Barry is both a very good liar about his past, but was also very persuasively honest about his clean outlook for 2010, and maybe Brailsford makes an error of judgement in trusting him. Meanwhile, when he's doing due diligence on Ballan he hear's something from some source he really trusts, and so doesn't even bother asking him.

Conclusion 4: Brailsford is a human being under pressure who makes an honest mistake.

Now. I'm not saying that's what happened here. I have no idea. Generally, as on this forum, in life people have a tendency to hear what they want to hear from any given conversation - and maybe Brailsford liked Barry and wanted to believe him. So it's certainly a possibility, no?
This is a fair possibility, but it's also one where Brailsford must acknowledge that his rhetoric has set him up for a fall, because given Barry's history, and the rhetoric of attention to detail and zero tolerance, you'd expect there to be some wilful naïveté if he's to fall for Barry's line, no?

It's exactly what Vaughters said about Brailsford's policy: it's not naïve, it's idealistic. I don't think Dave Brailsford is naïve, because that credits him with what I feel is too little intelligence to have had the level of success he has done. He's made a rod for his own back, because his mouth has written cheques his *** can't cash, and now he's having to backpedal and frankly, things are being made to look a lot worse than they actually are. After all, most teams uncover a rider's past doping with no connection to say they have done so at their present team, that rider gets sanctioned or kicked off the team, that's the end of the story. But because of Team Sky's zero tolerance rhetoric combined with their attention-to-detail mantra, when it happens to them, questions are suddenly having to be asked as to whether one or both of these claims has failed.

I.e.:
Claim 1: Team Sky has a zero tolerance approach to people with doping history
Claim 2: Team Sky shows a high level of attention to detail
Claim 3: This attention to detail has underpinned their success

None of these claims are necessarily false. However, when somebody like Barry, de Jongh or whoever gets embroiled in something, it calls all of them into question because:

If we consider for the sake of an argument right now that claim 1 is accurate, the fact remains however that a rider or staff member has escaped the net. If it is a one-off, then you chalk it up as 'nobody's perfect', it's an oversight, Team Sky promise to tighten up their control and everybody lives happily ever after. However when there are a number of people escaping the net, then this is no longer possible to argue, and as a result claim 2 is called into question. If a number of people have got past the checks and then been busted, how high exactly is that level of attention to detail? But then, to our hypothetical fan, who has now become distrustful of the truthfulness of Claim 2, this then immediately throws doubt onto Claim 3, because it is dependent on Claim 2. We can then extrapolate from the reputation cycling has that the fan must now consider alternative reasons for the success that Team Sky have had. Could we really blame them if they then question the veracity of Claim 1 as a result?
 
Mellow Velo said:
Dear Santa,
I have been a very good boy all year. All I want for Christmas is for you to make that nasty Mr Brailsford vanish, so my favorit team can win some races......


Seriously, every team boss has employed personnel with past crimes.
Is Shayne Bannan going to resign for signing Matt White?
How 'bout BMC's Illustrious GM?

Another "Lets go off the deep end over Sky and ignore everybody else" thread.
Are you suggesting that Brailsford is a hate figure because he took a clean British team to dominate the big road cycling races for a year at the expense of some other teams that happen, mostly, to have been doping teams for the past God knows how many years. In the clinic? Wash your mouth out.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Mellow Velo said:
Dear Santa,
I have been a very good boy all year. All I want for Christmas is for you to make that nasty Mr Brailsford vanish, so my favorit team can win some races......


Seriously, every team boss has employed personnel with past crimes.
Is Shayne Bannan going to resign for signing Matt White?
How 'bout BMC's Illustrious GM?

Another "Lets go off the deep end over Sky and ignore everybody else" thread.
But wasn't that the whole point of Sky? Wasnt that what Brailsford set out to do?

Build a team that had no association with dopers (& win)!!

The blue makes Zero sense - almost every team has a thread in the Clinic, when Och opens his mouth he is just laughed at - not worth wasting any bandwith on opening a thread about him.
 
armchairclimber said:
Are you suggesting that Brailsford is a hate figure because he took a clean British team to dominate the big road cycling races for a year at the expense of some other teams that happen, mostly, to have been doping teams for the past God knows how many years. In the clinic? Wash your mouth out.
Mmm, not quite sticking my neck that far out.

He has signed a few individuals with a "past".
So, too has everybody else.

Of course the Sky bashers will cite the zero tolerance as reason for his dismissal.
Which, means the logic then has to exonerate everybody else on the grounds of having a tolerant policy.

Can't separate him out for the chop.
 
Mellow Velo said:
Mmm, not quite sticking my neck that far out.

He has signed a few individuals with a "past".
So, too has everybody else.

Of course the Sky bashers will cite the zero tolerance as reason for his dismissal.
Which, means the logic then has to exonerate everybody else on the grounds of having a tolerant policy.

Can't separate him out for the chop.
A fair and reasoned response.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Mellow Velo said:
Mmm, not quite sticking my neck that far out.

He has signed a few individuals with a "past".
So, too has everybody else.

Of course the Sky bashers will cite the zero tolerance as reason for his dismissal.
Which, means the logic then has to exonerate everybody else on the grounds of having a tolerant policy.

Can't separate him out for the chop.
Maybe I will cite that some of those that defend Brailsford have to resort to accusing those that question his integrity as either having nationalistic bias or Sky bashers.

Neither of which is true.
 

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