The Culture, Media and Sport parliamentary select committee has more questions for Team Sky and British Cycling after David Brailsford testified over a week ago about a mysterious medical package delivered to Sky captain Bradley Wiggins in 2011.
Brailsford said that the package contained Fluimucil, a legal decongestant, for Wiggins. The Times reported that Simon Cope’s trip to deliver the drug cost £600 and that British Cycling is unable to confirm the contents package.
“The more we discover about the package, the more questions seem to be thrown up,” Damien Collins, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, told The Times.
Cope, then working for British Cycling, flew from England to Switzerland and drove to France to meet Team Sky on June 12, the final day of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. Wiggins won the race in his build up to that year’s Tour de France.
The Daily Mail revealed in October that a medial package was delivered, but Brailsford helped build suspicion when he refused to reveal the contents. He only did so before the select committee on December 19.
“We now know from Simon Cope’s expense claims that the request to take the package must have been made some time in advance, and that he travelled from southern England up to Manchester to collect it, and then went back to fly to France from London Gatwick,” added Collins.
“If this medicine was needed urgently it would have been much quicker to buy it in France.”
However, The Times reported that British Cycling President Bob Howden wrote the select committee to say the federation is unable to access the files needed to prove that it was Fluimucil that Cope delivered.
Howden said that he understands that the package contained Fluimucil, but that the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has the needed files in an ongoing investigation.
The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) lists Fluimucil as a permitted medication to treat coughs and sore throats.
“We also know from last week’s hearing that the medication was administered as soon as it was delivered,” continued Collins.
“It also seems that British Cycling do not know categorically what was in the package. They say they understand it to be Fluimucil but do not explain why they understand that’s what it was.
“We need to be sure that British Cycling do keep proper records of what goes in and out of their medical stores.”
UKAD, according to an earlier article in The Times, is unable to find record that Wiggins was ever prescribed Fluimucil.
The anti-doping body continues to investigate Sky and British Cycling. It began its inquiry on the heels of a difficult summer that included the medical package news, TUE leaks and claims Team GB cyclists were freely given Tramadol.
Wiggins announced his retirement two days ago via his Instagram account.