UK anti-dope boss slams Team Sky over probe

MONACO • The head of UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) has criticised Team Sky over their inability to prove what was in a package delivered to a team doctor during a 2011 cycling race.

Ukad is investigating the package, intended for Bradley Wiggins during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford was grilled about it during a British parliamentary hearing last month.

Brailsford could only say that he had been told it contained a legal decongestant, Fluimucil.

But in a BBC interview published yesterday, outgoing Ukad chairman David Kenworthy said Brailsford's evidence was underwhelming.

"What you had here was an incident which occurred in 2011 and the hearing was in December 2016, so five years ago people can remember a package that was delivered to France," he said.

"They can remember who asked for it, they can remember the route it took, who delivered it, the times it arrived.

"Everybody can remember this from five years ago, but nobody can remember what was in the package. That strikes me as extraordinary.

"It's very disappointing. We're still continuing the investigation."

BIZARRE' CLAIMS

Everybody can remember this from five years ago, but nobody can remember what was in the package. That strikes me as extraordinary.

DAVID KENWORTHY, Ukad's outgoing chairman, on Team Sky officials remembering every detail of the package delivered to cyclist Bradley Wiggins in 2011 except its contents.

British Cycling president Bob Howden, the body's ethics commission chair George Gilbert and ex-Team Sky coach Shane Sutton were unable to divulge the contents of the package when asked by British lawmakers.

Team Sky and their former star rider Wiggins, who retired last month, have consistently denied wrongdoing.

The pressure on Brailsford remains intense after three-time Tour de France winner and Team Sky rider Chris Froome refused to give him a firm endorsement during a press conference on Friday.

Froome, who confirmed that he has previously taken Fluimucil, both in a nebuliser and by injection before the UCI banned the practice in 2011, was asked if Brailsford retained sufficient credibility to defend his Sky riders.

He replied: "That's not for me to say."

When the question was put a second time, he answered: "You'd have to ask (Brailsford) that. I don't know how he is going to respond."

Froome told the BBC that he declined a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) during the 2015 Tour de France because he did not think it was right morally.

"I didn't feel having a TUE in the last week of the Tour was something I was prepared to do," he told the BBC. "It did not sit well morally with me."

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 08, 2017, with the headline 'UK anti-dope boss slams Team Sky over probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe