Graham McWilliam, the deputy head of Sky News and the chairman of the Team Sky board, has expressed support for the team following reports that it is being investigated by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad).
Ukad is reported to have launched an investigation into Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky regarding a package said to have contained medicine which was flown to France on the final day of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné at La Toussuire.
Addressing the team in correspondence he later published on Twitter, McWilliam said:
“Keep your feet firmly on the ground and stay focused on what’s important. For Team Sky that’s racing and winning, the right way. That’s what we’ve done from that start and that’s what we’ll continue to do in future. I can assure you of Sky’s full and continued support. There is no equivocation on our part. We trust you, we believe in you and we remain as excited about this sport as ever.”
Meanwhile, Nicolas Roche, a rider who is soon to leave Team Sky for BMC Racing echoed the comments of a number of other riders when he said that there was “a major problem” with the therapeutic use exemption (TUE) rules.
Speaking to Cycling News, he said:
“Like I said already on my Twitter a few weeks ago, when Wada was hacked the first time and before the Wiggins story, there is a major problem with TUEs. There is a problem with the actual system. Again, you can do whatever you want against Wiggins but unfortunately, as far as ethically it’s wrong, he is within the rules. It is wrong that these rules are like that. That’s where the main problem is.
“It’s a problem not just in cycling, but in all sport. There was something like 6,000 TUEs this year. To be honest, this year I was sick three times and I never needed a TUE, so there is a real problem on the easiness of getting TUEs and how athletes can abuse them.
“I think if you work on that then you have a solution. But the problem is much more than Wiggins, it’s the whole system that needs to be revised.”