Appearing in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Howden said that he did not know what was in the package that was delivered to Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, and did not know of anyone in senior management who would know.
Alongside Howden was British Cycling board member Dr George Gilbert, who told MPs that it was an assumption that the package contained medical products at all, and that UK Anti-Doping had told BC not to look through its records for evidence about the package.
According Howden and Gilbert, UKAD has been questioning British Cycling’s employees over the contents of the package, but the board had been instructed not to ask any questions of its own.
However, a UKAD letter sent to the committee on the morning of the hearing said that Howden and Gilbert were free to discuss the contents of the package, and the hearing concluded with Howden agreeing to write to the chair of the committee with details of the contents if their records showed that it contained pharmaceutical products.
On the subject of TUEs, Howden and Gilbert both called for more transparency, saying that they could be made public if that would help the public gain confidence in the sport.
However, Gilbert also stressed how TUEs were a matter for riders and medical professionals, with the UCI having strict protocols over when they are granted.
Gilbert also stated that he saw no conflict of interest with team doctors being responsible both for a riders health and for performance.