Sir Dave Brailsford reveals 'myster medical package' delivered to Team Sky at 2011 Criterium du Dauphine contained fluimucil - Road Cycling UK

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Sir Dave Brailsford reveals ‘myster medical package’ delivered to Team Sky at 2011 Criterium du Dauphine contained fluimucil

Brailsford reiterates faith in the system and insists Sky did not abuse TUEs

Sir Dave Brailsford told a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee the ‘mystery package’ delivered to Team Sky at the 2011 Tour de France contained the decongestant fluimucil.

Questions have been repeatedly asked of the contents of the package, delivered to Dr Richard Freeman from British Cycling by Simon Cope, which prompted a UKAD investigation back in October.

But, after UKAD confirmed they were happy for questions to be asked by MPs at the select committee about the package, Brailsford told Damien Collins MP it had contained fluimucil for a nebuliser, after British Cycling president Bob Howden and former performance director Shane Sutton had previously denied any knowledge of its contents.

Bradley Wiggins won the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011, but questions have been raised about a ‘mystery medical package’ delivered by British Cycling to Team Sky after the race (Pic: Sirotti)

Brailsford’s grilling by MPs was part of a wider investigation into doping in sport, with the Team Sky supremo the final person to appear as a witness after Howden and Dr George Gilbert appeared jointly, followed by Sutton.

After facing questions on TUEs, specifically those issued to Sir Bradley Wiggins – as revealed earlier this year by the Fancy Bears data hack – Brailsford was then grilled on the medical package, which was said to be delivered for Freeman to use with Wiggins after his 2011 Dauphine win.

Fluimucil, also known as Acetylcysteine, is permitted by WADA for the treatment of coughs and sore throats. Though not licensed in the UK it is licensed for use in France. However, somewhat surprisingly, it is not recommended for use by asthma sufferers – of which Wiggins is one.

Brailsford told MPs he did not have first-hand knowledge of the contents of the package, but was relaying Dr Freeman’s statement – and confirmed there should be a paper trail back to British Cycling.

It follows previous statements, both later disproved, that Cope’s trip to France was to see Emma Pooley (who was in fact racing in Spain at the time) and that Wiggins had not been on the team bus (despite video footage suggesting he did return back to the bus after the podium ceremony).

While Brailsford admitted he had handled the situation badly, he insisted it was not his intention to mislead, rather he had been too hasty to reveal statements made to him before checking them.

Brailsford admits he handled the situation badly, but has reiterated Team Sky’s values (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

“There are lessons to be learned,” he admitted. “I have handled this situation very badly.”

On TUEs in sport, meanwhile, Brailsford remained adamant Team Sky had not broken any rules, and reiterated his faith in the system.

“It is very much driven by the medical team,” he said. “There’s a triple lock for TUEs – the rider, the medic and the independent consultant. Then it goes to Wada to sanction it.

“It’s about use and abuse, and we’ve never abused the system.

British Cycling are expected to confirm the contents of the medical package delivered to Team Sky at the Dauphine in the coming days, after Howden and Gilbert earlier promised that – were it a pharmaceutical package – it would be easy to confirm its contents.

After, repeatedly reiterating neither of them knew what was in the package, and nor had they ever asked as the UKAD investigation was ongoing, they signed off by promising to confirm the contents of the package to Collins.

 

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