Ukad criticises British Cycling for ‘hindering’ Jiffy bag investigation

Croak

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Authors: Rio Sports

The investigation into a mystery Jiffy bag delivered to Bradley Wiggins was “hindered” and may have been “potentially compromised” by British Cycling’s failure to report the doping allegations sooner, according to the UK Anti-Doping Agency.

A damning letter sent from Ukad to British Cycling lays bare a catalogue of failings within the governing body which resulted in an inability to investigate properly what the contents were of the package delivered to Wiggins at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011.

Ukad closed the investigation last November after deeming it “impossible” to determine whether the contents were the legal decongestant Fluimucil – as claimed by Team Sky – or the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone, or something else. Both Wiggins and Team Sky deny any wrongdoing.

The full reasons behind the decision to drop the investigation paint British Cycling in a very unfavourable light.

The letter, dated 14 November 2017, reads: “Despite being aware of allegations in relation to the 2011 package, British Cycling were slow to inform Ukad of these.

“Contact by British Cycling with some members of staff at British Cycling prior to informing Ukad could have potentially compromised our investigation.

“Failure to inform Ukad at the time that individuals within British Cycling became aware of such suspicions or allegations meant that this story had already reached a number of individuals before Ukad was informed, and thus able to act. That only hindered our efforts.”

Ukad says: “We found no formal processes or procedures in place to record the purchase, use or disposal of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, ie a medical stock-taking system, except for invoices kept by the finance department.”

The letter also notes there was no oversight of the team doctors at the time, Richard Freeman or Steve Peters. Freeman said he had lost records when his laptop was stolen on holiday, and he then failed to talk to Ukad because of ill health.

“There was no process to record what products or supplies were stored by British Cycling at the velodrome or elsewhere, and what was checked in and out of the medical room on site,” the letter, addressed to the chief executive, Julie Harrington, reads, “The medical room at the velodrome was chaotic and disorganised. There was no apparent filing system and papers were just piled up in cupboards and filing cabinets.

“Electronic medical records were not kept nor was there any back-up system.”