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Updated: British Cycling admits "serious failings" in record keeping as it emerges Team Sky ordered more Triamcinolone than was needed for Wiggins TUEs

Ukad still unable to verify solitary account of what was in Dauphiné package

MPs have heard that Team Sky ordered more of the drug that was administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins under a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) than was necessary to treat one person. The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), Nicole Sapstead, said that, “either there was an excessive amount of it for one person or quite a few people had a similar problem.” Meanwhile, British Cycling has admitted "serious failings" in its record keeping over the medical package delivered to Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

While the TUEs were secured in accordance with UCI rules, Wiggins has come in for criticism given that triamcinolone has previously been used by drugs cheats.

The rider himself says the drug was administered due to the unpredictable nature of his allergies and has argued that the injections may even have had detrimental effect on his performance.

Sapstead, giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee as part of its investigation into possible doping in sport, said that from records relating to Triamcinolone seen by her organisation, more of it was ordered than was needed for the TUEs administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins.

“I can't speculate about how it used and whether it is used in or out of competition,” the BBC reports her as saying. “My understanding is Triamcinolone is considered, not a serious product, but you don't treat conditions with it lightly.

"For that reason you would either think there was an excessive amount of it for one person or quite a few people had a similar problem. It's difficult because of a lack of records to see what duration these orders were lasting for."

Sapstead was also questioned about the circumstances surrounding the delivery of a jiffy bag to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

She said that while Ukad had been told that the package contained the decongestant Fluimucil, Freeman did not have any documentation to prove this.

"We have received one account of what was in the package. That was that the package contained Fluimucil – not a prohibited substance and used for treatment of build-up of mucus, common in endurance sports.

"No one has any recognition of what was put in the package. We have asked for inventories and medical records to confirm that, but have not been able to ascertain that because there are no records."

Ukad established that Freeman kept medical records on a laptop.

"He was meant to, according to Team Sky policy and a policy that other doctors followed, upload the medical records onto a Dropbox that all doctors had access to.

"He did not do that for one reason or another. In 2014 we had been informed his laptop had been stolen while he was on holiday in Greece and that's why we've not been able to access those records."

Freeman himself had also been due to appear before the select committee, but pulled out of his planned evidence, saying he was too ill to attend.

The committee also heard from Simon Cope, the man who delivered the package, who told them he did not ask what was inside.

Asked whether he was “the most over-qualified delivery boy in history”, Cope said: “I could well be. But as I said earlier, I had a role in 2010 that was a full-time role, and I moved into a role which I could see, a few months down the line – which did happen – getting made redundant, as it wasn’t a full time job. So I was doing everything possible to keep people happy, to try and keep my job.”

He added: “Why would I ask if there was anything untoward. It’s a national governing body, why would I question the integrity of our governing body? I didn't ask."

British Cycling admits "serious failings" in record keeping

In a statement released on Wednesday evening in response to the select committee's latest evidence session, British Cycling said:

British Cycling welcomes the comments of UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead and would like to thank her and other UKAD staff for their work.

We have cooperated fully with UKAD throughout this process and we have encouraged others to do the same.

We acknowledge serious failings in our record keeping at the time. Our medicines management processes have been reviewed several times since 2011 and, through working with UKAD in recent months, we have identified further areas for improvement on this and in the provision of our wider medical services.

As has already been reported, Dr Richard Freeman is currently unwell. British Cycling owes a duty of care to him as his employer and therefore we will not make any further comment at this time.

The organisations' chair, Jonathan Browning, said: “Following the comments from UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead, we can announce the following measures to address clear failings in our processes highlighted in the investigation:

“First, an audit of our medical services provided to the Great Britain Cycling Team – we have taken the initial steps to enable the Care Quality Commission to examine the medical support we offer to our athletes and to identify areas of improvement.

“Second, a further review of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s medicines management policy – we will be seeking UKAD support in this.

“At British Cycling, we are wholly committed to clean sport and I want to assure athletes, fans and all other stakeholders that this commitment is unwavering.

“For anyone lucky enough to be working in any sport, it is not enough to just be clean, we must also be able to demonstrate that we are clean with transparent and accountable processes including good record-keeping and solid policies on all areas of medical support."

He added: “This is a fundamental responsibility, rooted in our duty to the athletes in our care as well as in our duty to the sport, and one which we take extremely seriously.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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47 comments

Avatar
kcr | 6 years ago
2 likes

Armstrong investigation was driven by misuse of US Federal funds, hence US authorities getting involved.
In a similar way, UK gov investigation has been triggered by original allegations of mismanagement at BC, which receives gov funding.
I don't think there is currently an obvious trigger for UCI or other agencies to get involved.

I'm not sure how this will progress. I think it is obvious that the original source of the jiffy bag story must have alleged something pretty specific and damaging about the contents to Matt Lawton. However, unless they are prepared to go on the record, everyone else can keep stalling and there's no evidence to work with.

Avatar
SNS1938 | 7 years ago
4 likes

I was starting to wonder why Sky were not coming forward and having a 'come to Jesus' with the public about their activities (''we used TUEs, we flew a package, but this is the extent of what we did''). Instead it seems each month some new detail comes out and doesnt look good for Sky. It really now appears that they didnt explain everything up front because it just makes them look so bad. I have better records for my dog's vaccinations than they have for their top riders medications. Talk about a cavilair attitude.

Lost laptop? Really? So with their huge budget they didnt have cloud backups? That is quite unbelievble. There are freeback up sites that can mirror your data so easily, think DropBox, GoogleDrive, iCloud etc ... who in this day and age doesnt have at least their My Documents backed up like that...its free!! (and secure enough to be used by many fortune 500 companies who must not have leaks).

I have to think that if their sponsor was someone other than Sky/Murdoch, that the sponsor would be pulling out when the contract ends. 

Can someone explain why it's just UK investigations into this? Why isnt the UCI doing one? I've read Tyler's book, and the bringing down of Lance was by the US, and not by UCI. Is this the same, in that the UCI don't want to tarnish Froome/Sky?

 

Avatar
craa22uk | 7 years ago
4 likes

Ukad still unable to very solitary account of what was in Dauphiné package

 

verify?

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climber | 7 years ago
7 likes

I like to generally give the benefit of doubt etc, but the more this goes on the more it smells. Freeman should have uploaded the records, he did'nt, his laptop gets 'stolen', and now too 'ill' to attend. 

For me, there are too many 'unfortunate' events, waffle, BS etc to be able to see any innocence here. It stinks. 

And if I were Froome, or indeed any Sky or Wiggins rider, I'd be looking for a way out.

Avatar
earth replied to climber | 6 years ago
0 likes
climber wrote:

I like to generally give the benefit of doubt etc, but the more this goes on the more it smells. Freeman should have uploaded the records, he did'nt, his laptop gets 'stolen', and now too 'ill' to attend. 

For me, there are too many 'unfortunate' events, waffle, BS etc to be able to see any innocence here. It stinks. 

And if I were Froome, or indeed any Sky or Wiggins rider, I'd be looking for a way out.

 

Sad to say but my thought as well.  Next it will be the dog ate the records.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
5 likes

Froome will probably get jiffy backs thrown at him this year. He'll soon be wishing he had those lethal disc brakes to keep the crowd at bay. 

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EddyBerckx | 7 years ago
22 likes

Don't you get more haribo with bigger orders?

Avatar
TheSpaniard | 7 years ago
11 likes

Well if you're going to have to pay for shipping anyway, you might as well do a bulk order.

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earth replied to TheSpaniard | 6 years ago
0 likes
TheSpaniard wrote:

Well if you're going to have to pay for shipping anyway, you might as well do a bulk order.

 

I just pad the order with inner tubes.

Avatar
MamilMan | 7 years ago
2 likes

I guess if Wiggins wanted a decongestant he could just do what Alain Baxter did... ?

 

With most of the teams bringing everything that goes in or on a team member you could understand why they send out for stuff that risks getting them banned. Even if sending out for stuff means getting someone to bring it from somewhere you trust.

 

 

Avatar
turboprannet replied to MamilMan | 7 years ago
3 likes
MamilMan wrote:

I guess if Wiggins wanted a decongestant he could just do what Alain Baxter did... ?

 

With most of the teams bringing everything that goes in or on a team member you could understand why they send out for stuff that risks getting them banned. Even if sending out for stuff means getting someone to bring it from somewhere you trust.

Please consider the subtext of what's going on here. Flumecil was readily available locally and this is not a Baxter case of a brand mix of medicines having different components. Think if it was Aspirin instead. An actual drug not Night Nurse etc.  

This is about more than ordering a decongestant. What is being claimed to have been sent - no record of it. What records were allegedly kept - lost on a stolen laptop. Was that breach of medical confidentiality reported to authorities? No.

Even David Walsh appears to have turned. This is a huge amount of powerful drugs to buy for one rider. Is it going to more riders? Is there a "program"? 

So the clean new way of doing things, big data and bigger budgets and they have no backup of medical data and no logs for medicines their riders took during the biggest events?  Either they are very, very naive or taking the piss. 

Avatar
massive4x4 replied to turboprannet | 6 years ago
0 likes
turboprannet wrote:
MamilMan wrote:

I guess if Wiggins wanted a decongestant he could just do what Alain Baxter did... ?

 

With most of the teams bringing everything that goes in or on a team member you could understand why they send out for stuff that risks getting them banned. Even if sending out for stuff means getting someone to bring it from somewhere you trust.

Please consider the subtext of what's going on here. Flumecil was readily available locally and this is not a Baxter case of a brand mix of medicines having different components. Think if it was Aspirin instead. An actual drug not Night Nurse etc.  

This is about more than ordering a decongestant. What is being claimed to have been sent - no record of it. What records were allegedly kept - lost on a stolen laptop. Was that breach of medical confidentiality reported to authorities? No.

Even David Walsh appears to have turned. This is a huge amount of powerful drugs to buy for one rider. Is it going to more riders? Is there a "program"? 

So the clean new way of doing things, big data and bigger budgets and they have no backup of medical data and no logs for medicines their riders took during the biggest events?  Either they are very, very naive or taking the piss. 

While the record keeping is poor and slap dash that could have also been the behaviour of a team with nothing to hide that felt it had nothing to prove.

The big issue I have with suspicion around the "package" is the lack of subtefuge/competance. If they really were shipping drugs around why would you use a british cycling "mule" have british cycling pay for the trip and document it. Then have the british cycling person hand the package directly to the team bus and then travel home with a member of british cycling who is a minor celebrity.

In the days of proper doping the team would have gotten somebody not connected with them to deliver the package to a team doctor in a neutral location and they would have paid for it all using laundered money (derrived from selling team kit then writting it off as destroyed).

Avatar
kcr replied to MamilMan | 7 years ago
2 likes
MamilMan wrote:

I guess if Wiggins wanted a decongestant he could just do what Alain Baxter did... ?

 

With most of the teams bringing everything that goes in or on a team member you could understand why they send out for stuff that risks getting them banned. Even if sending out for stuff means getting someone to bring it from somewhere you trust.

 

 

Unfortunately for that argument, a key element of a trusted system for supplying medical supplies is accurate and comprehensive record keeping...

Avatar
turboprannet | 7 years ago
4 likes

I listened to a fair bit of this and Sky & BC did not come out of this well in the slightest. This was what I took the most from it though. When Cope was asked about taking packages abroad without knowing, or even asking, what was in it he was asked if he was caught would he not be complicit? Then asked if Sky cared more about what was in the package than his wellbeing (yes). Cold. 

I am really struggling to understand why a zero tolerance, ultra clean, new way of doing things, marginal gains team is ordering old school corticosteroids in bulk. 

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Simon E replied to turboprannet | 7 years ago
0 likes
turboprannet wrote:

I am really struggling to understand why a zero tolerance, ultra clean, new way of doing things, marginal gains team is ordering old school corticosteroids in bulk. 

Same here.

They may not have broken any hard rules but their 'clean' image is taking a huge knock. At the moment I don't see how they can repair the damage.

Will someone use this as an excuse to throw urine at Froome in July? I hope not but I wouldn't bet against it.

Avatar
turboprannet replied to Simon E | 7 years ago
2 likes
Simon E wrote:
turboprannet wrote:

thing I said 

Same here.

They may not have broken any hard rules but their 'clean' image is taking a huge knock. At the moment I don't see how they can repair the damage.

Will someone use this as an excuse to throw urine at Froome in July? I hope not but I wouldn't bet against it.

sorry to spam replies but had something else to say (doping in sport fascinates me). The stage this is at now is that actual rules are being broken. Evidence is stacking up too in that medicines bought is more than needed and that needs explaining. Their medical procedures are incredibly lax and incomprehensible when you look at sky's PR. 

Absolutely agree their clean image is gone  

Someone probably will throw urine at Froome to be honest. I'd hope not too. Froome is going to get questions too, shame for him but he is probably going to have to change teams one way or the other. 

Avatar
andyp replied to Simon E | 6 years ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

 

They may not have broken any hard rules but their 'clean' image is taking a huge knock. At the moment I don't see how they can repair the damage.

 

 

when exactly did Sky last have a 'clean' image? Pre-JTL? Pre-Leinders? About 2 seconds before Froome's comical attack on the Ventoux?

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