UKAD Investigating Fresh Allegations Against Wiggins and Sky
Bradley Wiggins, who last rode for Sky in 2015, is facing fresh scrutiny. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (file)
FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — UK Anti-doping is investigating Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in the wake of the TUE scandaland reports of a medical package delivery in 2011, says the Daily Mail.
“UKAD is investigating an allegation of wrongdoing in cycling,” the body said in a statement to the Daily Mail. “In order to protect the integrity of the investigation we will not comment further.”
2012 Tour de France winner Wiggins has been under fire for nearly a month after Russian hacker group Fancy Bears released his and others’ TUE data. He asked for and received permission to injected corticosteroid triamcinolone three times ahead of his big appointments – the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia – due to allergy problems.
The article today explains that a staff member flew with a medical package from Great Britain to Geneva and drove from Geneva to La Toussuire on June 12, 2011, the day Wiggins won the Critérium du Dauphiné.
“British Cycling confirmed on Thursday that a member of their coaching staff had, indeed, travelled to La Toussuire in France with medication requested by Team Sky,” read the article. “They have not identified the substance nor the rider, citing patient-doctor confidentiality. They have, however, suggested the package did not contain triamcinolone.”
Simon Cope was a women’s cycling coach at the time and now head of Wiggins’s team. The Daily Mail reported that at the request of Sky, Cope delivered the package from Great Britain to La Toussuire and returned immediately home afterwards. The UKAD, wrote the Daily Mail, is “investigating allegations centred around the package and whether it was requested by Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman for Wiggins.”
The article said that another reason was given for Cope’s trip, to see cyclist Emma Pooley, but she confirmed that she was in Spain at the time and not in France.
There is no proof of wrongdoing with medication in the package or the trip itself. In the wake of the TUE scandal, Sky’s actions are being viewed in a different light.
Wiggins and Sky team boss David Brailsford explained the TUE injections were for valid reasons.
“It was prescribed for allergies and respiratory problems,” Wiggins told BBC1. “I’ve been a lifelong sufferer of asthma. This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage, this was about putting myself back on a level playing field in order to compete at the highest level.”
“If the medical community, and the TUE community, feel that it’s appropriate for something to be granted for use in a particular circumstance, then I wouldn’t argue for that to be denied to an athlete,” Brailsford added. “If we think there is anything we can do to help the health of our riders, within the rules, and it’s legitimate… ”
Sky’s current star Chris Froome said that the TUE system “is open to abuse,” and that the UCI and WADA “need to urgently address the issues.”