UKAD close investigation into Team Sky 'jiffy bag' with no anti-doping charges brought - Road Cycling UK

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UKAD close investigation into Team Sky ‘jiffy bag’ with no anti-doping charges brought

Investigation into medical treatment administered to Bradley Wiggins 'hampered by a lack of accurate medical reports'

UKAD’s investigation into the jiffy bag delivered to Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine has concluded with no anti-doping charges being brought, after being ‘hampered by a lack of accurate medical reports’.

The package – which Team Sky eventually claimed contained the decongestant Fluimucil – was delivered from British Cycling to the team bus, and administered to race winner Bradley Wiggins by Dr Richard Freeman.

But UKAD have been unable to confirm or refute the claims as to what was in the package, after allegations it had in fact contained Triamcinolone – a restricted glucocorticoid.

The investigation has been ongoing for nearly 14 months, with UKAD interviewing 37 individuals in total since September 23, 2016.

Several key figures have also appeared before the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Select Committee to answer questions – including UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead and Team Sky supremo Sir Dave Brailsford.

But a UKAD statement confirmed the investigation has now been concluded, though some information has been passed on to the General Medical Council (GMC), which could lead to further investigation.

Dr Richard Freeman’s poor record keeping hampered UKAD’s investigation into the jiffy bag delivered by British Cycling to Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said: “I can confirm that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges as a result of the investigation into the package.

“As with all UKAD investigations, our work has been thorough and extensive, and I can reassure the public that we treat every credible allegation with the utmost seriousness.

“Our investigation was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records being available at British Cycling. This is a serious concern.

“As part of their conditions to receive public funding from UK Sport and other Home Country Sports Councils, all sports governing bodies must comply with the UK National Anti-Doping Policy. In this case the matter was further complicated by the cross over between personnel at British Cycling and Team Sky.

“We have written to British Cycling and a copy of this letter has also been sent to UK Sport and Sport England. We have also separately written to Team Sky.

“Finally, we have referred some information to the GMC, and will cooperate with the GMC as necessary in respect of that information.”

The UKAD statement added: “Despite very significant effort on UKAD’s part, UKAD remains unable to confirm or refute the account that the package delivered to Team Sky contained Fluimucil.

“It follows that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges in relation to the package.

“As with all investigations, UKAD may revisit matters if new and material information were to come to light.

“Otherwise however, UKAD has now exhausted all the investigative possibilities open to it at this stage, and it is therefore not actively pursuing any further lines of enquiry in relation to the package.

“UKAD pursued a number of lines of enquiry arising from its investigation into the package. In doing so, UKAD became aware of information that it considered to be of possible interest to the General Medical Council (GMC).

“UKAD has shared that information with the GMC, and will continue to liaise with the GMC as appropriate in relation to that information. UKAD will not comment further in relation to this.”

Bradley Wiggins won the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011, but questions remain over the ‘mystery medical package’ delivered post-race (pic: Sirotti)

Dr. Freeman resigned from his British Cycling post last month, having been unavailable for further interview as a result of ill-health.

It was found during the investigation, his poor record-keeping and failure to use Team Sky’s Dropbox system meant no record of the medication administered to Wiggins could be found, particularly after Dr. Freeman’s laptop was stolen on holiday.

In summarising the investigation, UKAD’s statement concluded: “Put simply, due to the lack of contemporaneous evidence, UKAD has been unable to definitively confirm the contents of the package. The significant likelihood is that it is now impossible to do so.”

After the decision not to bring charges was confirmed, Team Sky issued a statement reaffirming their anti-doping stance.

“We are pleased that UK Anti-Doping have concluded their investigation and that they will not be taking any further action,” it read.

“We have always maintained that there was no wrongdoing and we have co-operated fully with UK Anti-Doping over the last year.

“Since our inception as a new pro cycling team in 2010 we have continually strengthened our systems and processes so they best support our strong commitment to anti-doping.”

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