Sir Dave Brailsford admits mistake were made by Team Sky
But yesterday Brailsford reiterated his belief that the team was not guilty of breaching anti-doping rules in a letter sent to to Damian Collins MP, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee.
The team remains embroiled in controversy relating to a ‘mystery’ package which was delivered to then Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine – a race won by Sir Bradley Wiggins – and three therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) granted to Wiggins in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
And moments after the statement was published, Graham McWilliam, the chairman of the Team Sky board, used Twitter to say the board remained “100% behind team and Sir Dave Brailsford” following suggestions that some riders might want the team principal to resign.
UK Anti-Doping is investigating whether the team and British Cycling violated anti-doping rules when the package, addressed to Freeman, was delivered to Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Criterium.
Brailsford has said he was told the package contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil, but as yet no documentary evidence has been produced.
It has been alleged the package instead contained the banned corticosteroid triamcinolone, the drug for which Wiggins later received TUEs for but which he would not have been permitted to use at the time.
Bradley Wiggins retires from cycling
Wed, December 28, 2016
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from cycling
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Sir Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from cycling
Team Sky have strenuously denied that was the case.
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Last week, UK Anti-Doping boss Nicole Sapstead told the Culture, Media and Sport committee that UKAD’s investigation had found the absence of documentary evidence was because Freeman had failed to follow the team’s record-keeping policy and had his laptop stolen in 2014.
In his letter, Brailsford wrote: “Self-evidently, the events of recent months have highlighted areas where mistakes were made by Team Sky.
“Some members of staff did not comply fully with the policies and procedures that existed at that time.
“Regrettably, those mistakes 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. We accept full responsibility for this.
“However, many of the subsequent assumptions and assertions about the way Team Sky operates have been inaccurate or extended to implications that are simply untrue.
“There is a fundamental difference between process failures and wrongdoing. Our commitment to anti-doping has been a core principle of Team Sky since its inception.
Our mission is to race and win clean, and we have done so for eight years.”
Several riders, led by Geraint Thomas used Twitter on Monday to express their own support for Brailsford.
Yesterday, Thomas, who is preparing to race Tirreno-Adriatico this week to continue his build-up to the Giro d’Italia, said: “For sure there are still questions to be answered, 100 per cent.
“The thing is with Dave, a CEO of a company doesn’t oversee everything that everyone does, you have to delegate and trust people to the head of those certain areas. I think Freeman and Brad don’t seem to be having too much of the flak, really, it just seems to be us, which also is annoying.
“That’s the people that this whole thing involves and they don’t seem to be… They can swan around getting on with their lives and we are the ones who have to stand here now and answer these questions which we have nothing to do with. So that’s annoying.”