A vial found on the roadside following a crash at Paris-Roubaix in April by a British cycling fan and handed into UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) for analysis has turned out to have contained no banned substances.
Mike Brampton said at the time that the container had fallen from the pocket of a rider during a crash, and while he declined to disclose the cyclist’s identity, he said he did have photographs showing who it was.
The white powder discovered in the vial was tested by the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses (LAD), who said in a report disclosed today that “it has been possible to highlight the presence of ibuprofen, caffeine, theophylline and quinine,” and that “none of those substances is part of the WADA prohibited list.”
It added: “No doping substance could be detected in the white powder transferred by the UCI”.
Nicole Sapstead, director of operations at UKAD, said: “A member of the public, and by consequence the Report Doping in Sport hotline, played an integral role in ensuring that this information was passed on to the appropriate authorities to be properly investigated.
“We applaud all those who recognised that this was the most appropriate action to take in the pursuit of clean sport.
“UK Anti-Doping acted quickly, working closely with our partners at the CADF [Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation] and UCI, and we hope that fans are reassured that anti-doping organisations are collaborating on a global level to deter and detect suspicions of doping.
“Anyone with concerns, no matter what your involvement in sport, should use this as a case study and speak out by visiting www.reportdoping.com.”
UCI President Brian Cookson added: “This case is the perfect example of how good collaboration between National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADO), the CADF and the UCI makes our anti-doping programme as robust and efficient as possible. I would like to thank UK Anti-Doping for its collaboration with the CADF and the UCI in this case.”
After finding the vial during the race, Mr Brampton said: “Basically the crash happened and then they all got up and the soigneur pushed the rider away.
“I’d already spotted the vial, as had others. It was actually pointed out to the soigneur who sort of shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘nothing to do with me’.
“I’d rather not say who was involved or where exactly it happened but it was roughly halfway through the race between cobbled sections, not on a cobbled section itself.
“It will absolutely be possible to pinpoint who the vial belongs to. I have 34 in-sequence photographs from about 15ft away, pin sharp. In one of them you can actually see the vial falling from the rider’s pocket.
"Though there is one shot missing which is of me picking up the vial – that is because the voiture balai [broom wagon] was about to run me over and obscured the shot,” he added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.