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Team Sky Acknowledge ‘Mistakes’ Over Mystery Package

Team Sky has acknowledged that mistakes were made around the delivery of a mystery medical package to Bradley Wiggins that is the helm of a British anti-doping inquiry.

On Tuesday, a letter was published by Team Sky along with supporting documents sent by Brailsford to the parliamentary committee. In the paperwork, it was reiterated by Brailsford that he believes the team was not guilty of breaching anti-doping rules. Brailsford also showed through the documents how the team has strengthened its anti-doping and governance processes.

Team principal Dave Brailsford further remarked that there is a fundamental difference between process failures and wrongdoing. Brailsford said the events of recent months self-evidently have highlighted areas where mistakes were made by Team Sky. Brailsford added the investigation of UK Anti-Doping was precipitated by a very serious allegation of an anti-doping rule violation by Team Sky at the 2011 Dauphine. The Team principal added it is important to reiterate that, to his understanding, UKAD’s extensive investigation has found nothing whatsoever to support this allegation, which we believe to be false. The Team principal also said some members of staff did not comply fully with the policies and procedures that existed at that time. Brailsford also remarked those mistakes regrettably mean that we have not been able to provide the complete set of records that we should have around the specific race relevant to UKAD’s investigation and said we accept full responsibility for this.

Brailsford also commented that our commitment to anti-doping has been a core principle of Team Sky since its inception and also said that our mission is to race and win clean, and we have done so for eight years.

Brailsford sent a letter to Damian Collins, the Chairman of Parliament's Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee in which vehemently defended record of the team on anti-doping while at the same time admitting that mistakes were made. Brailsford also hit back against growing speculation that he might be asked to step aside from his role as team principal. Former director Steven De Jongh, who was let go in 2012 under the zero-tolerance policy of Team Sky, said he has his doubts that Brailsford could weather the storm.

On Twitter, Team Sky chairman Graham McWilliam said the board was "100% behind" the team and Brailsford.

The British professional cycling team that competes in the UCI World Tour has come under the scanner in the last few months. It was revealed by the country's anti-doping agency and a parliamentary committee that there were no medical records to back up claim of the team that a legal decongestant was provided to Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine in France.

U.K. Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead told the parliamentary committee hearing that the agency is investigating whether the product delivered to Wiggins was Triamcinolone, a banned corticosteroid.

In December, Brailsford testified to Collins' committee in December that he believed the "mystery" medical package delivered to the team for Wiggins in 2011 contained Fluimucil, which is a legal medication under the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

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Albert Wolfgang
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