The Daily Mail has claimed that Sir Dave Brailsford met with it in a bid to prevent the publication of its story concerning a ‘mystery package’ that was delivered to Bradley Wiggins, then riding for Team Sky, during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Mail reporter Matt Lawton says that Brailsford attempted to offer the paper another story on September 27, saying “If you didn’t write the story, is there anything else that could be done?”.
Lawton writes: “First came the offer of an alternative, more positive story. Then possibly a story about a rival team winning races with therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) — something he did not reveal in the end.
“And at the end of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Brailsford asked if there was ‘anything else that could be done?’”
Brailsford addressed a Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Monday, where he was questioned by MPs on the contents of the package. Brailsford said that it contained a decongestant medicine, Fluimucil, which is available over-the-counter.
The package was taken by British Cycling coach Simon Cope from Manchester to the Dauphiné in France, where it was received by Team Sky medic Dr Richard Freeman.
Brailsford did not reveal the package’s contents to the Mail during its meeting with him.
UK Anti-Doping is currently carrying out an investigation into the contents of the package and the information surrounding its transportation.
There is still a question mark over how the Daily Mail learned about the package in the first place, given that its existence would have only been known by those close to the team.