UK Anti-Doping investigation into a 'mysterious medical package' delivered to Team Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné will reportedly clear Bradley Wiggins
Simon Cope, then a British Cycling staff member, flew with a package from Great Britain to Geneva, Switzerland, and drove it to the team in France. He met Sky medic Dr Richard Freeman at La Toussuire ski resort, on the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 12.
Wiggins won the French stage race, which set him up for a run at the Tour de France. He abandoned the Tour due to a broken collarbone, but returned in 2012 to become the first British winner.
Sky boss David Brailsford said that he knows what was in the package but would not reveal its contents. It is unknown if it was for Wiggins or another of Sky’s cyclists at the race.
UKAD launched its investigation on the heels of a difficult summer for Sky and British Cycling that included the medical package news, therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate TUE and claims that Team GB cyclists were freely given Tramadol.
However, the Times reported on Friday that it learned that no cyclist will be named in an anticipated UK Anti-Doping report. Wiggins should not face further investigation, but the article said that Team Sky and British Cycling could come under fire.
The anti-doping body has been investigating Sky and British Cycling for two months. This month, officials could release their findings.
Cope said that he did not know what was in the package. The Times reports that another member of staff involved in packaging the jiffy bag told investigators that he was unaware of its contents. Freeman spoke to investigators, as well, but it is unknown what he said.
Brailsford came under heavy fire for his initial explanation of events, that Cope’s visit was for Emma Pooley and that the Sky bus left already departed while Wiggins celebrated on the podium. Pooley later said she was in Spain at the time and video images showed the bus still at the ski station when Wiggins returned from the podium.
Wiggins drew criticism for his TUEs ahead of the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. He asked for and received a certificate to inject corticosteroid triamcinolone.
Froome said last week that he remains “in the dark” regarding the controversy that surrounds his team and its former leader Wiggins.
“I have asked the question. Hopefully we will find out at the end of the investigation,” Froome said.
“I can only deal with what I do know. From what I have seen for myself [at Sky], it’s been completely above board. It’s been clean.”
In addition to the UKAD investigation, parliament’s culture media and sport select committee is asking questions. It will hear Brailsford on December 19.