Brian Cookson: 'Team Sky may have pushed TUE rules to the limit'

UCI president Brian Cookson insists that no rules have been broken in the Team Sky TUE controversy, but suggests the team may have pushed the rules to the limit

Brian Cookson on stage fourteen of the 2014 Tour de France (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

UCI president Brian Cookson suggests Team Sky may have pushed the rules around Therapeutic Use Exemptions “to the very limit”, but insists everybody has abided by the rules in place.

The British team have been under fire in recent weeks after hackers released details of TUEs obtained by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, as well as other cyclists from other teams.

Wiggins was prescribed a corticosteroid to help treat a severe pollen allergy, which was authorised by officials at the UCI, but the practice of obtaining TUEs by Sky has been brought into question.

“We shouldn’t be surprised when elite sports teams push to the very limit of the rules. Perhaps that’s what happened here, but the rules appear to have been abided by,” Cookson said at the Road World Championships in Doha.

The medication prescribed to Wiggins, triamcinolone, has been abused in the past by cyclists looking to shed weight in a short amount of time - according to David Millar and other former dopers - although there is no suggestion that Wiggins was using it in this way.

Cookson admitted that everything in the process of obtaining the TUE was above board, as far as the rules go, but questioned whether the medication in question should be prescribed.

“The issue of the substances issued to Wiggins appears to have been within the rules,” Cookson added. “But I think there is an argument to be had about whether TUEs for that kind of substance are valid.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.