Sky boss Brailsford would support night doping tests

Fri Jul 3, 2015 2:30pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

UTRECHT, Netherlands (Reuters) - (This version of the story was refiled to correct typo in paragraph five)

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford says he would back night-time dope tests for riders but fears cycling's biggest races may be decided by "sleep deprivation" rather than form should the measure be applied.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) unveiled a series of recommendations earlier this year as part of its anti-doping program in the wake of the Independent Reform Commission's (CIRC) report into the sport's checkered past.

UCI president Brian Cookson established an internal task force to look into measures aimed at beefing up the sport's anti-doping procedures including waking riders in the middle of the night to perform doping checks.

"Where do we go with it? Do we just say no or do we try to keep driving toward what we all want which is a clean sport?", said Brailsford at a news conference on the eve of the Tour de France Grand Depart in Utrecht.

"If it's deemed to be necessary then it's deemed to be necessary but that will impact on performance. It's a trade-off there but I think the sport being where it is at the moment it's a trade-off we would be prepared to take.

"Ultimately I worry the big races could be determined by sleep deprivation rather than the best rider in the best form winning but if that's what we have to deal with, it's what we deal with."   Continued...

Team Sky rider manager Dave Brailsford poses before the start of the 197 km tenth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo July 9, 2013. Picture taken July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard