Russia cyclist Shane Perkins able to ‘sleep well at night’ after switching allegiances

first_imgTrack cycling star Shane Perkins has defended his integrity and backed Russian cycling as controversy continues about the country’s anti-doping regime.After winning two world titles and riding at the 2012 Olympics for Australia, Perkins switched allegiances to Russia when he was left out of the Rio Games squad. He will make his world championships debut as a Russian rider later this month in Poland. Read more Support The Guardian The Six Day track event at Melbourne Arena, which runs from Thursday to Saturday, will be his last event before the worlds.“My integrity is absolutely fine, I sleep well at night,” Perkins said. “A lot of people know the sort of person I am … people should know that just because I’m riding for another team, it doesn’t mean I’m going to change my ethics. I’m not going to tarnish that reputation that I’ve built up.”Perkins also backed his new teammates as controversy continues to rage about doping in the Russian sports system. “When I say to people, ‘I’m riding for Russia’, they automatically look at me and think ‘why have you done that – they’re drug cheats’,” he said.“The point is, it [doping] happens everywhere. Now I’m part of Russia and I know the athletes … I have confidence in the team that I’m in.”This week’s Six Day will be the first time he has ridden at Melbourne Arena since the 2012 world championships, where he was a member of the Australian trio that won the team sprint gold medal. He will ride in the team sprint again this month, his first world championships since 2015.“Going to these worlds, it’s going to show me basically what the level is now because it has been a while since I’ve been there,” he said. “I’m not expecting to be straight back up there again, but I’m not saying that I won’t be, either … I have to be realistic too. news Share on Pinterest Cycling Share on Messenger Australia sport Share via Email Topics Q&A: What is at stake at Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal?center_img “Once I get there and get a bit of a sniff of it, I’m always good like that – it will be a good couple of years after these worlds.”Perkins said the Six Day, which is part of an international series, is as much about entertainment as it is competition. “It’s an awesome atmosphere … there will be a lot of fun. The sprinters are there to put up a good show.” Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Read more Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Shane Perkins on defecting to Russia: ‘I have a clean slate to prove myself’ Reuse this contentlast_img read more