Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford could be forced to reveal what was in the mysterious medical package delivered to Dr Richard Freeman in 2011.
Brailsford has been summoned to appear before MPs at a parliamentary inquiry looking into doping in sport. Brailsford could be asked to reveal the contents of the medical package delivered to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Brailsford has refused to say up until now what the package contained but he will have to answer truthfully if asked by the parliamentary committee, for if he doesn’t he would be in contempt of parliament. The hearing is part of the committee's ongoing inquiry into doping in sport that has also targeted athletics.
It is believed that members of British Cycling will be made to answer questions on the controversies currently surrounding cycling at a yet-to-be-announced date before Christmas before the Culture, Media, and Sport select committee. The meeting will be centered on the use of the corticosteroid Triamcinolone as a treatment for a pollen allergy by Bradley Wiggins, of which he was granted permission to take before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and 2013 Giro d’Italia via therapeutic use exemption forms.
Brailsford recently remarked he could have better handled the fallout from the Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky controversy. Brailsford said that he should have checked facts before he told the world that the package was delivered to Sky in France by Simon Cope – then British Cycling women’s coach – who was visiting British rider Emma Pooley. But it transpired that Pooley was not in France at the time. Brailsford added someone mentioned that Cope might have popped over for a meeting with Emma Pooley and added so he relayed this information before he had the full facts. Brailsford added he should have rung Emma and asked and it would have taken two minutes. Brailsford added he had inadvertently thrown a huge amount of petrol on a small fire and further commented that two plus two equals 10 now. Brailsford also said Team Sky had not abused the TUE system and added riders of the team had not systematically used powerful painkiller Tramadol, corticosteroids, or other substance to aid performance or lose weight.
The TUEs of Wiggins caused controversy although the substance was administered for a medical reason and therefore within the rules. This was because Wiggins had said in his book, My Time, that he had not received injections though one of the injections was given to Wiggins prior to his 2012 Tour de France victory.
Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee, remarked Sir Dave Brailsford has been one of the most senior figures in British cycling over the last ten years and we thought it important to speak to him as part of our inquiry into how the sport has handled anti-doping issues and the ethics around therapeutic use exemptions. Collins added we are now talking to Team Sky about a date when he can come and speak to us.
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