• Cycling

Brailsford: Cycling lost its moral compass

ESPN staff
October 11, 2012

British Cycling chief Dave Brailsford admits the news that Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories were fuelled by systematic doping is extremely damaging for cycling but is confident the sport can move forward.

The Team Sky boss and British Cycling performance director described the revelations that Armstrong led a "sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme" as "jaw-dropping" after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released 1,000 pages of evidence behind its decision to strip Armstrong of his seven titles.

Armstrong, who gave up his fight against what he described as a "witch hunt" in August, maintains his innocence and said on he was "unaffected" by the news.

The sworn testimonies of 26 individuals, including 11 former team-mates of Armstrong, as well as financial statements and emails, accused Armstrong of spearheading a "massive and pervasive" doping programme at US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.

Brailsford admits cycling "lost its moral compass", but while he is confident the sport is back on track, he admits it will take time for cycling to restore its reputation.

Brailsford told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It is shocking, it's jaw-dropping and it is very unpleasant, it's not very palatable and anybody who says it is would be lying wouldn't they?

"You can see how the sport got lost in itself and got more and more extreme because it seemed to be systematic and everybody seemed to be doing it at the time - it completely and utterly lost its way and I think it lost its moral compass.

"Everybody has recalibrated and several teams like ourselves are hell-bent on doing it the right way and doing it clean. The challenge is that it is understandable now for people to look at any results in cycling and question that."

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