"So remember if you do it to me, you'll be hitting a guy whose hands are by his side"
Sunday Times journalist David Walsh says he won't criticise Paul Kimmage after the latter's own criticism of his reporting of Team Sky and the controversy surrounding Bradley Wiggins.
Amid scrutiny regarding Tour de France-winning cyclist Wiggins and the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions in sport, the author and journalist was speaking to Newstalk Drive as he reacted to comments from Sunday Independent sportswriter Kimmage.
Kimmage had said on Off The Ball that his relationship with Walsh was "dead, it's over, it's finished."
"Paul and I have had a tremendous friendship going back 30 years. I told Paul at one time when he had publicly criticised me on social media, I asked him to come to me first with criticism, and then if he felt the answer wasn't to his liking, that he could then go public. But at least he would have heard my point of view," said Walsh.
"I told Paul 'I will never criticise you in public because we've had too much shared experiences. So remember if you do it to me, you'll be hitting a guy whose hands are by his side and will never hit back'. And I won't criticise Paul Kimmage. He's a tremendous journalist, he was once a dear, dear friend of mine. I wouldn't have had three friends I was closer to than Paul Kimmage and the last thing I would ever want to do is criticise the guy."
Regarding the case of Wiggins, Walsh says the British rider is a "in a very difficult situation now".
"Although Bradley Wiggins has a fantastic record at the Olympics, his greatest achievement was becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France," said Walsh.
"So the Tour de France was the No 1 thing on his honours list and now it's tarnished because he got a drug that it's very hard to see the justification for him being given that amount of a corticosteroid by injection when it was four days before the start of the 2012 Tour de France," he said.
"In medical terms, it has been a treatment for pollen-related allergies. But the medical world before 2011 when Bradley Wiggins started taking this, it had gone into disrepute. Even the medical world were saying this drug is too extreme at therapy for pollen-related allergies and had gone away from it. So for the doctor of Team Sky to apply for this, for the UCI to authorise it and for Bradley Wiggins to have it, in my view it was just plain wrong and in my view the likelihood is it gave Bradley Wiggins a performance-enhancing advantage."
Listen to the full interview on the podcast player: