Sir Jim Ratcliffe has given Sir Dave Brailsford his "full support" following the Richard Freeman medical tribunal scandal.
Freeman, former doctor at Team Sky and British Cycling, was found guilty by a medical tribunal in March of ordering banned testosterone "knowing or believing" that it was to be used for doping in 2011.
Brailsford was in charge of Team Sky and performance director of British Cycling during the period in question, but Ratcliffe - Britain’s richest man and co-owner of Ineos Grenadiers (formerly Team Sky) - insists he retains his full backing.
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“We’ve all got antenna haven’t we?” said Ratcliffe in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “And your antenna starts pinging if you’re uncomfortable about something.
“My antenna doesn't start pinging away when I'm chatting today to Dave. Quite the opposite.
“I like Dave. I think he's a very straightforward northerner. I think he's accomplished a lot. A bit like Toto [Wolff] has with Mercedes F1. There’s no accident that these guys are successful.
"When I look at how meticulous Dave is. The marginal gains stuff isn't fiction. He is a workaholic. I mean, he is present at the [races] for 220 days a year in his caravan, you know? I mean, that's utter dedication. To the detriment of his own health and family life. So that’s the side of Dave I see.”
Dr Richard Freeman has left British Cycling
Image credit: PA Sport
Ineos Grenadiers have released a statement outlining their full cooperation with UK Anti-Doping who have already charged Freeman with two rule violations.
And Ratcliffe is clear that his funding is conditional upon the team staying clean and playing by the rules.
“In my opinion you haven’t accomplished anything if you’ve done it by cheating,” added Ratcliffe. “There’s no honour in that.
“[Brailsford] has my full support. Unless something came up that I was shocked by, he will continue to have my full support."
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