UKAD confirms no charges after investigation into mystery package sent to Team Sky at 2011 Dauphine
Last Updated: 15/11/17 4:50pm
UK Anti-Doping has closed its investigation into a package delivered to Team Sky during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine and will not be bringing any charges.
The investigation, which has taken more than a year, was unable to confirm or refute the account that a "jiffy bag" delivered to the team for Sir Bradley Wiggins contained Fluimucil, which is not a prohibited substance.
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said the investigation had been hampered by a lack of accurate medical records available at British Cycling and a statement from the body said it could be re-opened if new and material information should come to light.
They also confirmed information had been shared with the General Medical Council, which also has regulatory powers and could access private medical records UKAD were unable to.
Sapstead said: "I can confirm that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges as a result of the investigation into the package.
"As with all UKAD investigations, our work has been thorough and extensive, and I can reassure the public that we treat every credible allegation with the utmost seriousness.
"Our investigation was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records being available at British Cycling. This is a serious concern. As part of their conditions to receive public funding from UK Sport and other Home Country Sports Councils, all sports governing bodies must comply with the UK National Anti-Doping Policy. In this case the matter was further complicated by the crossover between personnel at British Cycling and Team Sky.
"We have written to British Cycling and a copy of this letter has also been sent to UK Sport and Sport England. We have also separately written to Team Sky. Finally, we have referred some information to the GMC, and will cooperate with the GMC as necessary in respect of that information."
British Cycling conceded they failed to meet standards they hold themselves to now, with significant changes having been made since a wide-ranging review in March.
A statement from British Cycling head Julie Harrington read: "I would like to thank Nicole Sapstead and her team at UKAD for the diligence and determination they have shown in investigating this matter. Their work on this, and throughout sport, is essential if we are to earn and retain the trust of athletes and fans.
"UKAD's findings represent an organisation and culture that, despite delivering on the world stage, did not meet the high standards that British Cycling today holds itself to. We note that UKAD have referred information arising from their investigation to the General Medical Council and we offer them our wholehearted cooperation.
"British Cycling have implemented a number of significant changes to the management of our medical services to the Great Britain Cycling Team following a review instigated in March by chair Jonathan Browning, shortly after his appointment. This was an external review led by Dr Rod Jaques of the English Institute of Sport and all of his recommendations have been accepted by British Cycling. We welcome UKAD's support for these changes.
"The association between British Cycling and Team Sky has been a positive force for cycling in this country. However we accept that the relationship between British Cycling and Team Sky developed rapidly and as a result, at times, resulted in the blurring of the boundaries between the two. This led to some failings in the way that processes and people were managed.
"Today, based on our learning together there are clear boundaries and distinctions between our two organisations: no one is simultaneously employed by British Cycling and Team Sky; and we each have our own practices in place for managing athlete records.
"My focus now is on ensuring that we can give athletes and the public the reassurance they need to believe in our ability to win clean on the biggest global stages because of the systems and controls we have put in place. We are intent on ensuring that the integrity of our record keeping is never called into question again."
A Team Sky statement read: "We are pleased that UK Anti-Doping have concluded their investigation and that they will not be taking any further action.
"We have always maintained that there was no wrongdoing and we have co-operated fully with UK Anti-Doping over the last year.
"Since our inception as a new pro cycling team in 2010 we have continually strengthened our systems and processes so they best support our strong commitment to anti-doping."