British cyclist Dan Stevens has been named as the athlete at the centre of the claims that a London doctor has assisted 150 sportspeople take performance-enhancing drugs.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday evening that it believes Stevens was the person who provided evidence to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) that Dr Mark Bonar was prescribing banned substances to a variety of sportspeople.
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Dr Bonar’s activities were the subject of a Sunday Times undercover investigation, during which its reporter was told by Bonar that he had treated ‘British Tour de France cyclists’ as well as a host of other top sports stars from Britain and abroad.
Stevens was banned from competition for 21 months for failing to provide a sample for an out-of-competition anti-doping test on January 29, 2014. His suspension was cut from 24 to 21 months by UKAD after Stevens provided “valuable anti-doping information” to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC). His ban expired on November 1 2015.
Stevens was contacted by the Telegraph on Sunday, but declined to comment, saying “I’m sorry, I can’t talk about this”.
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead issued a statement on Sunday after the Sunday Times published its article, saying that the organisation did not have the jurisdiction in Bodnar’s case as he is not governed by a sporting body.
“UKAD commenced an investigation into Dr Bonar following interviews with a sportsperson in April and May 2014,” said the statement. “Following those interviews and an investigation, UKAD found that there was nothing to indicate that Dr Bonar was governed by a sport and UKAD had no other intelligence to corroborate the sportsman’s allegations.
“As a result, UKAD recommended to the sportsperson that more information was needed and as Dr Bonar fell outside of UKAD’s jurisdiction, that information could be passed, if appropriate, to the General Medical Council, which does have the powers to investigate possible medical malpractice and pursue if necessary.
“UKAD encouraged the sportsperson to obtain evidence, to go through his files to see if he had any useful documents, to recall names, to keep in touch with investigators – anything which may be deemed as helpful to the investigation and could help to corroborate what had been said in his interviews.
“KAD received handwritten prescriptions from the sportsperson in October 2014. The sportsperson claimed to have been issued these prescriptions by Dr Bonar and UKAD consulted an independent medical expert to examine the prescriptions. After assessing all the evidence, as per the National Intelligence Model, UKAD did not believe that there were grounds, at that point, to refer the case to the GMC.”
UKAD’s handling of the case will be the subject of an independent review which will look into how “information supplied by the sportsperson was handled and whether proper procedures were followed”.