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SBD Global/August 19, 2016/Olympics

Cavendish Shrugs Off Suggestions Of Foul Play After Team GB's Velodrome Domination

Cavendish said nations should compare their funding strategies to Team GB's.
As the debate around Team GB's domination in the velodrome "rages on," Olympic Silver Medalist Mark Cavendish "has told Britain's rivals to look no further than the equipment and dedication" sported by Britain's Gold Medalists, according to Harry Yorke of the London TELEGRAPH. Shrugging off suggestions of foul play as "baseless," the British sprinter said that "other nations should compare their funding strategy to Team GB, which invests the majority of its resources in Olympic years to ensure athletes reach their optimum every four years." Whereas Australia, Germany and France ensure that their athletes are supplied with the leading equipment every year for the World Championships, Cavendish maintains that Team GB puts its cyclists in "terrible hotels" with "second rate equipment" until a year out from "the greatest competition on the sporting calendar." He said, "We do get great funding, we're lottery funded, but we also have backing from private sponsors. But still other nations have similar funding to us, we don't have anything great. What we do in British cycling is get a lump sum every four years, but we don't use it for the first years." According to Cavendish, the fact that British cyclists compete at the top on inferior equipment until Olympic year "is proof that they are in fact better than their opponents; the injection of cutting edge kit merely increases their superiority over the rest of the field" (TELEGRAPH, 8/18).

: In London, Sean Ingle wrote British middle-distance runners Laura Muir and Laura Weightman "questioned whether the result of the women’s 1500m final at Rio Olympic Games can be trusted." Their comments came after the race’s Silver Medalist, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, said that she was "crystal clean from doping" and defended her controversial coach, Jama Aden. After finishing a "brave seventh" in the 1,500m final, Muir was asked whether the result of her race could be trusted. She hesitated before replying, "I have my doubts, let me say that" (GUARDIAN, 8/17).
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