Pressure mounts on British Cycling and Team Sky

British MP Damian Collins talks to Off The Ball about the latest developments surrounding an investigation into the contents a jiffy bag delivered to Team Sky in 2011

BY Cian Roche 21:06 Wednesday 1 March 2017, 21:06 1 Mar 2017

Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

The story surrounding a jiffy bag, or more accurately a medical package carried to France for Sir Bradley Wiggins at the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné race in 2011, has become even more strange this afternoon as UKAD [UK Anti-Doping] chief Nicole Sapstead told MPs there was no evidence to prove that the package contained legal decongestant fluimucil.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford's formerly claimed that the package had contained flumicil, but today Sapstead told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman failed to upload medical records. Furthermore, Dr. Freeman then reported the laptop was also stolen.

Also appearing in front of the committee was former British Cycling coach Simon Cope. He said he never asked what was in a package he delivered to Bradley Wiggins at a race in 2011.

In the hearing it was put it to Cope that he may have been "stitched up" and "left to dangle" regarding the investigation into the package.

He agreed - but insists he wasn't aware of what it contained.

On tonight's Off The Ball, British MP Damian Collins shared a little more detail about the history of this story and how it developed. 

"Today there was a lot of detailed questioning because there was one really simple principle that we were looking to investigate," he said. "That was if British Cycling and Team Sky were running the 'cleanest team in world cycling' - as they say they are doing - and operating at the higher ethical standards, why don't they have records to show what the doctors are administrating to their cyclists. 

"That's at the heart of the investigation and that's why it was devastating today that we couldn't get that information, because the records simply don't exist.

"There are two really important things here. Firstly, it does seem extraordinary that they would make someone travel from Manchester to deliver a product that they could get from any pharmacy in France. We learned today that they routinely bought from pharmacies in Switzerland and Germany rather than from the UK. 

"UKAD said in their investigation that they couldn't really find any evidence of fluimucil having been supplied by British Cycling to Team Sky."

Collins then hit on the crux of the issue.

"Then there's the question: If we've got this package which is unusual - it's being couriered out not to be administered not to just any rider but to Bradley Wiggins - and it's been ordered by the team doctor from British Cycling, why isn't there any records? Why does no one know what was in this package? 

"There are no medical records of what they had administered or what the doctor ordered. Therefore, people rightly say 'How can we have confidence in doping rules and medication rules being properly enforced, if there aren't any records?'"

The investigation continues, with UKAD having interviewed a number of people during their investigation but being unable to get to the bottom of what exactly the bag contained.

A key player in this investigation - ex-Team Sky doctor, Richard Freeman - was unavailable to speak at the hearing today because of illness.

He was also offered a Skype call, which he also could not take due to illness.


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