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UK Anti-Doping closes Team Sky "mystery package" probe

15 Novembre 2017

Team Sky have come under the microscope in recent months after an investigation was launched into a package ordered by former team doctor Richard Freeman and delivered to former Tour de France victor Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race.

They added their investigation saw them interview 37 individuals, including current and former employees of British Cycling and Team Sky.

It was alleged the package contained a banned substance but the doctor involved, Dr Richard Freeman, said it was a legal decongestant - fluimucil.

"I can confirm that Ukad does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges as a result of the investigation into the package", said Ukad chief executive Nicole Sapstead, who began looking into the affair previous year following revelations in the Daily Mail. "The significant likelihood is that it is now impossible to do so".

"Our investigation was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records being available at British Cycling", she said. This is a serious concern, ' she said. 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 cross over between personnel at British Cycling and Team Sky'.

However the tone of the statement contrasts with the frustration expressed by UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead.

It was couriered personally by Simon Cope, the coach to British Cycling's women's team, from British Cycling's headquarters in Manchester to the finish of the Criterium du Dauphine in Chatel.

"Finally, we have referred some information to the General Medical Council (GMC), and will cooperate with the GMC as necessary in respect of that information".

She also touched on what many have perceived as a concerning overlap between Team Sky and British Cycling's operations.

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After the decision not to bring charges was confirmed, Team Sky issued a statement reaffirming their anti-doping stance.

"We are pleased that UK Anti-Doping have concluded their investigation and that they will not be taking any further action", it read.

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.

"We have always maintained that there was no wrongdoing and we have co-operated fully with UK Anti-Doping over the a year ago". 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.

The multiple Olympic gold medallist, together with Sky, has always denied any wrongdoing but the Fancy Bears revelations led to a wider debate about whether the medical exemption process in cycling was being abused.

She said nobody is now simultaneously employed by both organisations and they have their own practices for managing medical 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".

"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". "We are intent on ensuring that the integrity of our record keeping is never called into question again".

UK Anti-Doping closes Team Sky