UK Anti-Doping has given its official response to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee report ‘Combatting Doping in Sport’, and says that it will not be re-opening the Team Sky ‘jiffy bag’ case unless new information come to light.
UKAD is responsible for protecting all sport in the UK from doping, and the organisation’s chief executive Nicole Sapstead was one of those who gave evidence during the DCMS Select Committee hearings.
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Sapstead confirmed in a statement issued on Monday that UKAD’s investigation into a mystery package, sometimes referred to as the ‘jiffy bag’, delivered to Team Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné “concluded with no anti-doping rule violations issued”.
However, Sapstead has not ruled out re-opening the investigation should any new evidence surface. “As with all investigations, UKAD may revisit matters if new material and information were to come to light but we are no longer actively following any lines of enquiry in relation to this matter. UKAD will not comment further in relation to this,” said Sapstead.
The DCMS Committee concluded in its report that it could not determine the contents of the package due to lack of evidence.
Team Sky was criticised in the report for the use of corticosteroid triamcinolone, which was administered to Bradley Wiggins ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour in 2012.
The Committee said: “We believe that this powerful corticosteroid was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the Tour de France. The purpose of this was not to treat medical need, but to improve his power to weight ratio ahead of the race.”
It later continued: “In this case, and contrary to the testimony of David Brailsford in front of the Committee, we believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky, within the WADA rules, to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need.”
Both Team Sky and Wiggins refute that any substance was used without a legitimate medical requirement.
Triamcinolone is currently only banned in-competition, but UKAD says that it would like to see it banned completely. It would also like to see powerful painkiller tramadol added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list.
UKAD has welcomed an additional £6.1million in funding over the next two years to help in its fight against doping.
“This report is a very helpful step forward in the fight for clean sport and we applaud the Committee for bringing a number of issues to light and we hope it will further encourage sports to do all they can to ensure anti-doping remains a top priority in order to protect the integrity of sport,” said Sapstead.