Ross Tucker on doping, expectations of sport and Team Sky

Tucker joined Off The Ball in studio

Ross Tucker on doping, expectations of sport and Team Sky

Picture by John Walton EMPICS Sport

On Thursday night's Off The Ball, sport scientist and regular contributor to the show Ross Tucker joined Ger Gilroy in studio to discuss how he became interested in doping, the story following Team Sky and his thoughts on mechanical doping.

Tucker explained that he had been following the story with Team Sky closely and admitted that is was only a matter of time before their most high profile rider, Chris Froome, is subjected to media scrutiny once again.

"It has to come back, because the Tour de France will force it back into the spotlight come July," he said. "The questions around Team Sky will have to be asked of him then. 

"The way that this story is being portrayed - and this would be the only clever thing Sky are doing - they seemed to have ring-fenced Froome from these allegations. 

"They've portrayed Dr. [Richard] Freeman as a lone wolf and part of a team consisting of [Shane] Sutton, [Simon] Cope, Freeman and [David] Brailsford. Whether they've done that on purpose to insulate Froome against it. If they have, it's about the only savvy thing they've done in the last six or seven months. 

"That seems to be how they've done it, but that won't wash in July. If he wins it again, people will say: 'Clean team? No, they've been exposed. Clean cyclist? How?'"

He then turned his attention to the issue of mechanical doping in the sport and said that it was only a matter of time before revelations emerge of cyclists using motors in their bikes. 

"It's just human nature. If you can do it, if it's possible, it's been done. Because the incentives are there. It's the same as doping. If it's possible to dope, it's been done. Human nature, mixed with incentives and in most instances, the complete lack of risk.

"It probably wasn't even a risk because nobody was ever looking for it. Whoever was the first mover was completely safe. Unlike doping where there's a risk you can be caught 10 years after it's done, with motors you can't. That bicycle is gone.

"If it was possible, it's been done. That's the reality in sport. If the incentives are large enough and the risks are small enough. It's absurd to think it doesn't."