DAVID WALSH’S BOOK on his crusade to expose Lance Armstrong as a drugs and doping cheat was acknowledged at the Irish Book Awards last night.
Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong won the Sport Book of the Year at the annual event.
Walsh was on Newstalk’s Off The Ball last night, speaking about his new book Inside Team Sky. The Sunday Times journalist put the book together after spending the bulk of a year with the cycling team that has produced the last two Tour de France winners, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Walsh told host Joe Molloy that he re-immersed himself in the world of cycling after he was ‘done with it’ in 2004, following Armstrong’s seventh Tour de France title. He admitted he was reluctant to get back involved with the sport, and take up Team Sky’s fly-on-the-wall offer, as he did not believe in the sport and felt the British team did not answer questions on doping very well.
The stripping of Armstrong’s titles, following the USADA report on his systematic doping and the Texan’s admission of wrongdoing, encouraged Walsh to take up the ‘quite spontaneous’ offer from Team Sky principal David Brailsford.
Walsh explained that current Tour de France champion Chris Froome gained huge confidence from his spell as Wiggins’ trusted lieutenant in 2012. Being the go-to guy for his senior teammate gave him the focus necessary to put in big performances and stood him in good stead when injury ruled Wiggins out of a title defence.
The author admitted it was a reasonable question to ask if Froome was doping but argued that no-one has ever backed up the questions with evidence. Asked if there was any doubt in his mind that Froome was racing clean, Walsh replied, “None; absolutely zero. Not a scintilla.”
2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins was injured for much of Walsh’s time following the team but Walsh stated his belief that the Olympic champion always had the necessary talent to capture the famous yellow jersey.
Walsh revealed he has taken a lot of flak from the cycling community for his stance that Froome is clean, and a freak, natural talent. He also admitted he had staked his reputation on the Zimbabwean being a clean rider. You can listen to the full interview here>>