UK anti-doping meets with British Cycling at Manchester Velodrome to investigate 'allegations of wrongdoing'

British Cycling and Team Sky is cooperating with UKAD and it's believed Sir Bradley Wiggins is not a subject of the investigation

Matt McGeehan
Saturday 08 October 2016 11:03
Two UKAD officials travelled to the 'Medal Factory' on Friday but gave little away in order to 'protect the integrity of the investigation'
Two UKAD officials travelled to the 'Medal Factory' on Friday but gave little away in order to 'protect the integrity of the investigation'

UK Anti-Doping investigators have met with British Cycling as the crisis which has engulfed the sport reached the home of the national governing body, which it shares with Team Sky.

Two UKAD officials on Friday travelled to the Manchester Velodrome, known as the 'Medal Factory' as the place where the successes of the last three Olympic Games were made.

UKAD would not comment further to "protect the integrity of the investigation" and would not disclose whether the meeting was pre-arranged or the result of an unannounced visit.

British Cycling and Team Sky is cooperating with UKAD's investigation into "allegations of wrongdoing within cycling"; on Thursday evening it was one solitary claim being investigated, but now there is more than one.

The initial UKAD announcement came as the Daily Mail reported the anti-doping authority is investigating Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins over the contents of a medical package, allegedly delivered to Team Sky in France on June 12, 2011. The newspaper reported that UKAD is looking at what that contained.

Press Association Sport understands that Wiggins and his representatives have received no notification from UKAD and believe the 36-year-old is not a subject of the investigation.

Five-time Olympic champion Wiggins, Britain's first Tour de France winner in 2012, said in a statement to Press Association Sport on Saturday: "I welcome this investigation."

Team Sky are "confident there has been no wrongdoing" and had asked British Cycling to contact UKAD.

Question marks continue to hang over Bradley Wiggins

British Cycling said it is "cooperating fully".

There is no timescale for UKAD investigations. And UKAD did not go into any detail about the allegations and mentioned no names.

But concerns on Thursday were raised about the availability of controversial and powerful painkiller Tramadol among the Great Britain team at the 2012 Road Cycling World Championships.

Tramadol is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's monitoring list, with concerns over its side effects.

Press Association Sport understands the UKAD investigation did not originate from a source within Team Sky or British Cycling, which have been intertwined since the road team was established for their first season in 2010.

Sir Dave Brailsford combined his role as British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal until April 2014, when he quit the national governing body.

Team Sky in action at Manchester Velodrome

Brailsford oversaw the British team which won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 Games in London.

Brailsford now concentrates on Team Sky, which was established with a zero tolerance to doping mantra.

Britain won six gold medals at the Rio Olympics in August, despite Brailsford's successor Shane Sutton leaving his role in April under discrimination allegations which are subject of an independent review.

Many riders and staff members have had, and some continue to have, dual roles with British Cycling and Team Sky.

The partnership was cleared of any conflict over UK Sport funding in March 2011 after a year-long review carried out by Deloitte.

Jason Kenny of Team Sky in Manchester 

Now British Cycling and Team Sky are under further scrutiny.

Press Association Sport understands Team Sky and Brailsford have tried to ascertain the events of June 2011, gathering written statements from staff present at the time and documentation to piece together the events. The evidence was for British Cycling and UKAD.

The logistics surrounding a cycling team are complex and packages are regularly transported. Determining the contents of the specific package will be central to the investigation, which could take some time.

The Daily Mail on Thursday reported that while British Cycling did not identify the substance in the package, the national governing body indicated it did not contain triamcinolone.

According to documents leaked by hacker group Fancy Bears, Wiggins had a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for triamcinolone acetonide - a synthetic corticosteroid - which was effective from June 29, 2011. Any use of a banned substance requires an active TUE.

Wiggins won the Dauphine Libere stage race - now known as the Criterium du Dauphine - on the day the package was reportedly delivered, completing victory in the eight-day event after the final stage to La Toussuire.

British Cycling is under scrutiny as it looks to shake off allegations of wrongdoing 

It was Wiggins' biggest road success to date and he was one of the favourites for the 2011 Tour de France, only to suffer a fractured collarbone on stage seven.

He became the first British winner of the Tour a year later.

Wiggins and Team Sky have strenuously denied any wrongdoing since it emerged the five-time Olympic champion has received six TUEs during his career, insisting each time the exemptions were medically necessary due to asthma and pollen allergies.

Wiggins used the powerful anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone - a substance which has a history of abuse in cycling - on the eve of the 2011 and 2012 Tours and 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Three TUEs - to take the drug to deal with a pollen allergy that aggravates his long-standing asthma condition - were approved by the UCI, cycling's world governing body, and there is no suggestion that Wiggins or the team have broken any rules.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who was sacked by Team Sky in 2014 and served a two-year ban for an anti-doping infringement, told the BBC on Thursday that the controversial and powerful painkiller Tramadol "was offered freely around" the British team during the 2012 Road Cycling World Championships.

The team doctor from the event denies the claim, sources within British Cycling said.


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