Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

UCI chief calls for Team Sky investigation

Team Sky second from right pedals during the the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia Tour of Italy cycling race Chris Froome backs Team Sky and Sir Dave Brailsford in drugs row
Tamara Craig | 10 March, 2018, 02:09

The question remains after Monday's publication of the United Kingdom government's digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee report, accusing the cycling team of crossing an "ethical line" by using performance-enhancing drugs that are allowed for medical purposes.

The committee published their report into "Combating doping in sport" and the UCI claimed that the report - insofar as cycling was concerned - supported and reinforced their concerns about the potential abuse of TUEs, particularly with respect to corticosteroids.

The report also speculated that, based on the available evidence, Wiggins might have taken the drug - which is legal to take out of competition, and in competition with a Therapeutic Use Exemption - up to nine times in four years. Brailsford, the figure who presided over a golden age in British cycling, has had his integrity seriously undermined.

British Cycling said it welcomed the report, chief executive Julie Harrington calling it "thorough and timely" and adding on the Team Sky situation: "Never again will we allow a situation to develop whereby our independence as the national governing body is called into question because of our relationship with a professional team".

"We consider it important that, regardless of the nationality of athletes and teams, anti-doping rules are enforced consistently and fairly".

The call came after revelations that 2012 Tour de France victor Bradley Wiggins had applied for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to have injections of the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone.

Four-time Tour de France victor Froome finished 10th in February's Ruta del Sol race, his first since an adverse drugs test was made public.

"Team Sky is happy to co-operate with any investigation by the UCI and we would welcome further scrutiny of the Select Committee's report", said the Team Sky statement.

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The 55-year-old must have realised his mistake in the break (slash when the producers told him), and he was forced to clear things up when they came back on air.

"I've got 100% faith in Dave [Brailsford, Sky's team principal] and the team and they do everything the right way". That is absolute rubbish, I have seen that accusation, but no that is complete rubbish.

Also racing for Sky in Italy is Froome, who has to explain to the UCI how he returned double the allowed level of legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine during his Vuelta a Espana victory in September 2017.

Lappartient told the BBC that the finding of the parliamentary report - which he said he trusted because it was written by British MPs - that stated Wiggins had used a controversial corticosteroid for performance enhancement rather than medical need was "unacceptable". "This is malicious, this is someone trying to smear me".

In this case, and contrary to the testimony of David Brailsford in front of the committee, we believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky, within the WADA rules, to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need. "I don't know what the authorities will do about Team Sky", Landis said, "but they kicked me out and took my title for taking steroids [he tested positive for synthetic testosterone], so the same should happen to Wiggins".

"I saw all the statements on this in Great Britain that damaged Team Sky, damaged cycling and we know how strong cycling is".

Team Sky has accused the committee of presenting "unsubstantiated allegations" which it says is "fundamentally unfair to the team and its riders".

"We welcome any review by the UCI which can help establish the nature of the evidence relied on by the Committee in coming to its conclusions".

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