• Tour de France

Brailsford backs Wiggins in drug storm

ESPN staff
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Bradley Wiggins is in firm control of the Tour de France © PA Photos
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Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford has given his unequivocal support to Bradley Wiggins in the doping row and urged the rider's detractors to front up rather than hide on social networks.

Wiggins has made a stunning start to the Tour de France and in putting almost two minutes into Cadel Evans in Monday's timetrial, he has an iron grip on the race. His solo effort was all the more meritorious given it came amid the backdrop of suspicion concerning doping.

The Team Sky No. 1 teed off at a journalist who asked if it was possible for the top riders to not be on drugs, while he and his team have also been bombarded by accusations on Twitter.

Brailsford feels Wiggins was entirely correct in responding the way he did to questions about doping and would be happy for those snipers to put their heads above the parapet.

"It was quite amazing," Brailsford said. "He spoke for a lot of people who have their achievements called into doubt. I totally agree with the sentiment, I like the passion and back him 100 per cent. I think he's answered the question now. What people might not realise, particularly with Twitter, is the amount of abuse he gets and we all get.

"There's something different about fronting up, being yourself and coming and saying face to face, 'this is what I think of you'. But if you want to do it behind a pseudonym it smacks of cowardice."

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