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Meanwhile, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke says British Cycling officials offered him controversial drug Tramadol

Team Sky insists it is “confident there has been no wrongdoing” regarding a report in the Daily Mail today regarding a package containing medicine allegedly delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins in June 2011 on the day he won the Critérium du Dauphiné.

While British Cycling was unable to confirm to the newspaper the substance involved, it did confirm that it was not triamcinolone, which Wiggins subsequently received a TUE for.

> UK Anti-Doping reportedly investigating Wiggins and Sky

UK Anti-Doping is looking into the allegations and, according to the BBC, is also examining separate claims by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke that British Cycling “freely offered” the controversial painkiller Tramadol to the country’s riders at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships.

He told the BBC’s Dan Roan: “I wasn’t in any pain so I didn’t need to take it, and that was offered freely around. It just didn’t sit well with me at the time. I thought, ‘I’m not in any pain’, why would I want a painkiller?”

While the drug is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), its use in cycling is controversial, partly as a result of its side-effects which can cause users to lose concentration and lead to crashes.

The UCI has been lobbying WADA to ban the substance, but this week the agency confirmed that for now it would remain on its watch list rather than being prohibited.

Tiernan-Locke, Great Britain’s protected rider in the race, finishing 19th, joined Team Sky the following season but was sacked in 2014 after he was handed a two-year ban for irregularities in his biological passport.

He has also called into question Wiggins’ use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to treat pollen and grass allergies ahead of major races, saying his pattern of use “looks suspicious.”

> Tiernan-Locke: Wiggins’ TUE use “looks suspsicious”

Wiggins has already been under scrutiny since the Fancy Bears hacking group released copies of his TUE certificates last month after illegally accessing the World Anti-Doping Agency database, and the Daily Mail’s allegations raise further questions he needs to address.

However, Team Sky said in a statement issued today that it did not believe there was a case to answer in relation to the newspaper’s claims.

It confirmed it had been contacted by the Daily Mail “regarding an allegation of wrongdoing.”

The statement continued: "We take any issues such as this very seriously and immediately conducted an internal review to establish the facts. We are confident there has been no wrongdoing.

"We informed British Cycling of the allegation and asked them to contact UKAD, who we will continue to liaise with.

"Team Sky is committed to clean competition. Our position on anti-doping is well known and we 100 per cent stand by that," it added.

In a statement released on Friday evening, British Cycling said it could confirm that "there is an ongoing UKAD investigation with which we are cooperating fully," adding, "we are unable to comment further at this stage."

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.

9 comments

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daddyELVIS [654 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Not been around these parts for a while, but I think we're almost at the 'told you so' stage with Sky. Any Sky fans left these days??

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Must be Mad [625 posts] 1 year ago
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About what? If Team Sky are found to have been breaking the rules, then I will deal with it at the time.

I just feel that there should be some ... you know... actual evidence presented first. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

And 'Told you so' - no, I don't think there is anything clever about jumping the gun in this case. I would rather be wrong about one person than tar everybody simply for the sake of trying to look smart on an internet forum. Due process is still important.

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ratattat [53 posts] 1 year ago
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JTL is a bitter twisted doper !! Sky will be proved inoccent of that I am sure .Its a pity other countries anti doping agencys arnt as through as ours

 

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The_Vermonter [44 posts] 1 year ago
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The utter lack of nuance in this discussion is hilarious. It is nearly impossible to know, or prove, if Sky/Wiggins/GB/Brailsford acted dishonestly or, more importantly, illegally. To speak in absolutes is disingenuous. Furthermore, it raises the question of what is a "marginal gain" and where is the line and how fine is that line into cheating or doping? With this being said, the assertion that what Brad Wiggins did was to put himself on back on an "even playing field" is too similar to the defense made of Lance Armstrong using drugs after surviving cancer.

 

Obviously, the difference in the two is one used a legal avenue to use drugs where the other colluded with the UCI and deceived many, albeit gullible, fans.

 

To conclude my rant, I would say this but also pose a question: if you feel aggrieved by what you perceive to be an abuse of the TUE program, then call for change. But where does it end? If a cyclist has trained their whole season only to be undone by illness or injury, should all their work and sacrifice be for nothing? 

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maviczap [91 posts] 1 year ago
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Here's how the investigation interview would go

Ukad officer: Mr Wiggins did you receive a package from Mr Cope at the Dauphine race

BW: No

UKad officer: Are you sure?

BW: Yes

Ukad officer: Mr Brailsford, did Mr Cope deliver a package to you at the Dauphine?

DB: No

Ukad: Are you sure

DB: yes

So unless they've got some evidence to show BW and DB to prove a package was deliverd, what are BW are DB going to say given that they know Ukad will be paying them a visit.

 

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kcr [153 posts] 1 year ago
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I haven't read the DM article. I assume this has to have been an internal source, or there is no way anyone would have known about delivery of "a package"?

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 1 year ago
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The_Vermonter wrote:

The utter lack of nuance in this discussion is hilarious. It is nearly impossible to know, or prove, if Sky/Wiggins/GB/Brailsford acted dishonestly or, more importantly, illegally. To speak in absolutes is disingenuous. Furthermore, it raises the question of what is a "marginal gain" and where is the line and how fine is that line into cheating or doping? With this being said, the assertion that what Brad Wiggins did was to put himself on back on an "even playing field" is too similar to the defense made of Lance Armstrong using drugs after surviving cancer.

 

Obviously, the difference in the two is one used a legal avenue to use drugs where the other colluded with the UCI and deceived many, albeit gullible, fans.

 

To conclude my rant, I would say this but also pose a question: if you feel aggrieved by what you perceive to be an abuse of the TUE program, then call for change. But where does it end? If a cyclist has trained their whole season only to be undone by illness or injury, should all their work and sacrifice be for nothing? 

re the 'level playing field' argument, I think that's an unfortunate consequence of Lance's defence.  I would think WADA's rationale for TUEs would probably include a similar phrase.

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maviczap [91 posts] 1 year ago
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kcr wrote:

I haven't read the DM article. I assume this has to have been an internal source, or there is no way anyone would have known about delivery of "a package"?

The exact phrase was "a suspicious package"

How the feck anyone knows it was ssuspicious i shudder to think.

Strangely Tienan Lock used suspicious in his BBC interview, but i don't think he was part of the Dauphine squad.

Sounds like a bitter ex member of Sky or BC, and fed the story to the Fail when the Wiggins TUE story broke. If was some truth to this story, why release it now?

In that year Wiggo and team Sky riders would have had multiple dope tests, so if they had taken something from this supisous package and used it, then there would have been some positive tests?

I see from tonights BBC news that UKAD officers visited BC yesterday, bet that was a big surprise . If there was any evidence, it'd have been destroyed , given the story was in open source news.  If the Fail thought it was true, why release it before Ukad raided BC's HQ?

Avatar
The_Vermonter [44 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
notfastenough wrote:
The_Vermonter wrote:

The utter lack of nuance in this discussion is hilarious. It is nearly impossible to know, or prove, if Sky/Wiggins/GB/Brailsford acted dishonestly or, more importantly, illegally. To speak in absolutes is disingenuous. Furthermore, it raises the question of what is a "marginal gain" and where is the line and how fine is that line into cheating or doping? With this being said, the assertion that what Brad Wiggins did was to put himself on back on an "even playing field" is too similar to the defense made of Lance Armstrong using drugs after surviving cancer.

 

Obviously, the difference in the two is one used a legal avenue to use drugs where the other colluded with the UCI and deceived many, albeit gullible, fans.

 

To conclude my rant, I would say this but also pose a question: if you feel aggrieved by what you perceive to be an abuse of the TUE program, then call for change. But where does it end? If a cyclist has trained their whole season only to be undone by illness or injury, should all their work and sacrifice be for nothing? 

re the 'level playing field' argument, I think that's an unfortunate consequence of Lance's defence.  I would think WADA's rationale for TUEs would probably include a similar phrase.

The very premise of a TUE program is for that reason which I think gives people a bad feeling. I don't think there are any rights or wrongs in this situation based on the information we currently have. I just hope 10-15 years down the line, we aren't discussing this in Brad Wiggins'/Sky/GB cycling's legacy.

I also am of the belief that British sport fans 1.) Get off on tearing-down stars and 2.) Are a but naive as it pertains to drugs. Sadly, these two passtimes have combined into what we see now.