Blacklisted

Monday, 5 July 2010

I might run a series of 1980s nostalgia on here but for the likes of Bruyneel and Riis, it’s like 2004 all over gain. Why? Well they are blocking certain journalists from interviews and access according to cyclismag.com.

Back then several reporters were on a list held by team staff with strict orders to freeze them out, all because they’d ask awkward questions or print interviews with “annoying” voices like Greg Lemond, Antoine Vayer or other critics and skeptics. Team CSC’s Brian Nygaard even went as far as having several lists, categorising reporters as “friends”, “sympathetic”, “annoying” and even “dangerous”. Not so much a blacklist as shades of grey.

Fast forward to today and Saxo Bank are blocking France Télévision’s Jean-René Godart – he of the camp eyelashes – after he gave too much airtime to the rumours of Cancellara’s electric bike. Meanwhile French radio station RMC is being blocked by Team Radioshack and the team as a whole has been avoiding press conferences, surprising when free publicity and the chance to get your message across is normally something teams and sponsors can only dream of outside the Tour de France. It’s odd when France’s biggest sports radio station and its national broadcaster have to rely on Twitter for access.

Etienne de Grully July 5, 2010 at 9:59 am

Not only the tweeter, Radioshack plays audio of rider quotes for the journalists in a press conference. I've heard of showing the sponsor products but this is a new technique.

Why the journalists do not demand real access? I would walk out if I could not get to talk to rider.

Anonymous July 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm

This is crazy! Blacklisting the national broadcaster is utter madness and disrespectful. When teams act like this all it does is further fan the flames of suspicion and people assume there guilty. I would of thought Radioshack would be on the charm offensive with the Landis diaries being published by the wsj implicating members of there team.

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