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UK Sport will not seek costs from Team Sky and British Cycling for ‘jiffy bag’ enquiry


We did not cross the ethical line – Wiggins

UK Sport will not seek money from Team Sky and British Cycling to help pay for the UK Anti-Doping investigation into the ‘jiffy bag’ delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins at a race in 2011, says chief executive Liz Nicholl.

A report by MPs said UK Sport should determine what Team Sky and British Cycling should pay Ukad to cover the costs of a 14-month investigation made “longer and harder” by their failure to keep proper records.

But Nicholl told BBC Sport: “It’s not for UK Sport to do that.”

Ukad’s investigation, which closed in November, was unable to determine whether the medical package that arrived at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011 contained a legal decongestant or, as alleged, Triamcinolone, which athletes are banned from using during competition.

In a letter revealed by BBC Sport in January, Ukad claimed its enquiry was “hindered” and may have even been “potentially compromised” by British Cycling’s failure to report doping allegations sooner.

Asked about trying to get compensation from the two parties involved in the investigation, Nicholl reiterated: “It’s not a matter for UK Sport.

“It’s rather complex because Team Sky doesn’t receive any public funding.

“Our relationship is with British Cycling and what we’ve seen from them is an absolute commitment to having a very strong action plan which is going to deliver over and above from any recommendations they’ve received.”

Nicholl added British Cycling was “heading in the right direction” with “new values and new culture” after appointing several new senior figures, including chief executive Julie Harrington and independent chairman Frank Slevin.

Bob Howden stepped down as chairman in February 2017 amid an investigation into claims of bullying at British Cycling, but remains the organisation’s president.

Nicholl said that British Cycling is “on track to do incredibly well” at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

What did the investigation find out?

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee report in March said Wiggins and Team Sky “crossed an ethical line” by using drugs to enhance performance instead of just for medical need.

But the committee said it was also “not in a position” to state what was in the ‘jiffy bag’ dispatched from the medical storeroom that Team Sky shared with British Cycling at their Manchester headquarters and received by former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at La Toussuire.

The Ukad investigation discovered Dr Freeman kept Wiggins’ medical records on a laptop that was stolen on holiday in Greece in 2014 and that he made no back-up copies.

Following that investigation, Harrington said there had been a “blurring of the boundaries” between British Cycling and Team Sky after the latter’s launch in 2010 under Sir Dave Brailsford, who remained performance director at British Cycling until 2014.

She added that there are now “clear boundaries and distinctions” between the two organisations, with no one simultaneously employed by both.

Team Sky said it “strongly refutes” the DCMS report’s claim that medication was used for performance enhancement but added it “takes full responsibility” for mistakes made in relation to medical record keeping, and have taken steps to improve this since.



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