Doc regrets not backing up Wiggins' drug records

LONDON • The doctor at the centre of the affair of the mystery package delivered to British cyclist Bradley Wiggins during the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011 has made the astonishing admission that neither Team Sky nor British Cycling had any written medicines-management policy or stock-taking system at the time.

In a letter to Britain's Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, Richard Freeman also expressed "regret" that there had been no backed-up medical records of Wiggins' treatment in 2011 - but denied there had been any unethical behaviour by either Team Sky or British Cycling.

However, MP Damian Collins, the chair of the DCMS panel, said that Freeman's written evidence had left "major questions outstanding for Team Sky and British Cycling".

UK Anti-Doping is investigating allegations that the Jiffy bag containing drugs sent to France to be given to Wiggins contained the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone. Investigators have been unable to find any records which prove what the package contained, but Freeman insisted that its only contents were the legal decongestant Fluimucil.

Wiggins' medical notes disappeared when Freeman reported his laptop stolen while on holiday in Greece. Now British Cycling's doctor, he said that he regretted not following Team Sky's protocol of backing up the medical records onto a Dropbox system.

"I accept that it would have been desirable to have backed up my clinical records, whatever system was used. I regret not doing this," he said.

In his letter, Freeman also appears to contradict evidence given to Parliament by Simon Cope, a British Cycling coach, this month.

Cope agreed that he had a train receipt that showed he had travelled to Manchester on June 8 and that he had collected a package there before travelling down to London and flying to Geneva airport.

However, Freeman says that his request for the legal decongestant Fluimucil was "made to (the former head coach) Shane Sutton a day or two before the end of the Dauphine 2011" - in other words June 10 or 11.

Collins has asked Freeman, who is on sick leave, to provide more information, and may call him to give evidence in person once he has recovered.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Doc regrets not backing up Wiggins' drug records'. Print Edition | Subscribe