The former British Cycling coach who delivered the infamous mystery medical package to Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné has said that he is fed up with the damage that the saga is having on his reputation.
Cope is due to appear in front of a committee of MPs in February to answer questions about the package, which Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford claimed contained Fluimucil, saying that he was looking forward to the affair being over.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
“I want to clear it up because I’m fed up with my name being dragged through the mud,” Cope told The Times.
“To this day, hand on heart, on my kids’ hearts, I do not know what was in there. I was asked to do a job.
“I’m pretty pissed off really that my name’s getting dragged through it. I’m the monkey in this — it’s the organ grinders you want to ask.”
Watch: Dave Brailsford gives evidence to MPs about doping in sport
Cope, who now works for Team Wiggins, went on to emphasise how it was those above him who should be answering the questions, and that he was just doing what was asked of him at the time.
“I don’t see why my name is up there with Dave [Brailsford], Shane [Sutton], the doctor [Richard Freeman] and Brad [Wiggins]. I was told by senior management, ‘We want you to do that’ or, ‘Do this’. The women’s road manager is not a full-time job, so if Dave said ‘jump’, I’d say ‘how high?’ because I needed the job.”
“People say, ‘You’re naive, you should have asked because you’re going through customs’. Maybe I was, but also why would I question?
“I had been working at British Cycling for eight years and I had never seen anything to question.’
Cope has been at the centre of media scrutiny in recent months after it emerged that he had travelled from Manchester to the south of France with a medical package from British Cycling for Team Sky.
British Cycling and Sky have said that Cope was already due to make the journey, and had only been asked to take the package as a matter of convenience.
However, former world and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke has also been critical of the decision to use Cope, questioning why the women’s road coach was asked to do work for Team Sky rather than concentrating on his principal role.