Doping concerns have “challenged”, if not “tarnished”, cycling, British great Chris Hoy said on Tuesday, but he is confident a new generation, possibly including his own son, will not be discouraged from taking to the saddle.
“You just have to look at the number of people out there on bikes who have an interest in cycling,” the 40-year-old said on Tuesday. It was time for cycling to undergo a “shake-up”.
“It is important that everything, no matter what it is, is brought out in the open and is addressed openly so there is complete transparency and people can see the facts.
“It is frustrating and it’s tough when you see the thing that you love, I wouldn’t say tarnished, but certainly having its reputation challenged.
“I am sure in the long run cycling will continue to grow and flourish — not just in the UK, but all around the world.”
After London 2012, having become the first British Olympian to win six gold medals, track cyclist Hoy retired from the sport after 13 years at the top.
The sport has since been plagued by doping suspicions, with the likes of British Olympic and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins at the centre of a number of allegations of wrongdoing in cycling over the past year concerning therapeutic-use exemptions.
Wiggins, who retired at the end of 2016, has always said he was not looking for unfair advantage but merely trying to mitigate the effect of asthma and allergies when using banned substances under medical exemption rules.