British media have reported that Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky are being investigated by UK Anti-Doping. The probe is related to a medical package, delivered to Team Sky officials ahead of the 2011 Tour de France.
It was reported by the Daily Mail that Team Sky and Wiggins have denied any wrongdoing over a package that was flown to Geneva and then driven to a Team Sky medical official. British Cycling confirmed the pack had medication for a Team Sky rider but has not identified the substance or the rider, citing patient-doctor confidentiality. British Cycling however suggested the package did not contain Triamcinolone, the drug at the centre of the Wiggins TUE controversy.
British Cycling confirmed a member of their coaching staff had, indeed, travelled to La Toussuire in France with medication requested by Team Sky on June 12, 2011. Simon Cope, a former rider and now boss of Wiggins' own racing team, was a women's cycling coach at British Cycling at that time. Simon flew to Geneva at the request of Team Sky with the medication before he hired a car and returned immediately to the UK after delivering the package.
UK Anti-Doping is likely to investigate if the package was requested by Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman for Wiggins.
Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in 2012, has been in the news for wrong reasons ever since Russian hackers revealed he applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for a steroid - Triamcinolone - prior to competing in the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France races and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
UK Anti-Doping is expected to question Wiggins, Sir Dave Brailsford and the Sky medical team as part of a wide-ranging probe into an 'allegation of wrongdoing'.
In another development, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke who was banned for anomalies in his biological passport after joining Team Sky disclosed he was "freely offered" the powerful painkiller Tramadol that is not banned but is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s ‘monitoring’ list, while riding for the GB team at the World Championships in Limburg in 2012. Tiernan-Locke claimed that his experience in 2012 was an example of “hypocrisy” of Team Sky. Tiernan-Locke added that the alleged lack of transparency of Team Sky over Tramadol made him uneasy. Tiernan-Locke said he feared that they might have been acting against the spirit of the sport with regard to their hugely controversial therapeutic use exemptions applications for Wiggins to use the corticosteroid Triamcinolone to treat asthma-induced hay fever before three of the biggest races of his career. Tiernan-Locke added it is just a shame that we’ve heard from other riders who have previously abused this drug and also commented that it is difficult to compute why that should be the go-to drug to deal with something as ordinary as asthma.
Sky deny any wrongdoing regarding their use of TUEs and claimed that they were medically justified and were all signed off by the relevant authorities, including the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, and WADA.
Sky and British Cycling shared many of the same staff at that time, including doctors. British Cycling's current doctor Richard Freeman, who was often seconded to Team Sky, was on GB duty in 2012 when the GB team used the Sky bus.