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Doument outlines team's position on drugs controversy and its position on anti-doping...

Team Sky has this afternoon published a detailed statement in response to the controversy surrounding the package containing medicine to be used by Bradley Wiggins that was delivered to its former doctor, Richard Freeman, at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

The document, which you can find here, outlines the team’s response to comments made last week to the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport by Nicole Sapstead, chief executive of UK Anti-Doping, which is investigating the episode at the request of Team Sky and British Cycling.

It also gives details of steps the team says it has put in place to fight doping.

In December, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford gave evidence to the same select committee as part of its investigation into doping in sport. He told them that the package included the decongestant Fluimucil, and the team has also provided a copy of a letter he has written to MPs as part of their investigation.

Former Team Sky doctor Freeman had been expected to testify to the select committee last week but did not do so due to illness. Former British Cycling coach Simon Cope, who delivered the package, did give evidence on the same day as Sapstead, however.

More to follow.

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.

21 comments

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HalfWheeler [667 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Where's Wiggo? Oh yeah, punting cars on the telly.

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Alb [155 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Don't think we'll ever find out what's really gone on here. One thing's for certain though... jiffy bags will be this years' TDF hot roadside accessory. Has Dave resigned yet?   

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SNS1938 [125 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Interesting reading. This is a much clearer picture of what happened from the sky point of view. 

1) doesn't seem to address why they said it was a package for Pooley first

2) doesn't seem to address why they said wiggans wasn't even there at that time to have the package administered

3) they race "clean", yet even reading this document I would call "clean" a stretch. They do everything that's not going to directly break a rule or fail a test. 

4) so Freeman didn't use Dropbox when travelling, but between 2011 and 2014 when his laptop was stolen, he still didn't copy his records across??

To me, sky's image is tarnished from this whole affair. The past few months of half answers etc. 

I cannot wait for the post stage interviews after each tour stage now. And for a Sky or ex-sky rider to release a tell all book. Swift? 

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Another David [29 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

This document will likely be an insult to one's intelligence, so no desire to read it. Sky should research the horse/door/bolted scenario

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HarrogateSpa [500 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

road.cc is becoming almost unreadable for me, because there's so much advertising on the index page, it takes an age to load. It also keeps auto-scrolling, or jumping to another part of the page lower down with a video advert.

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RobD [539 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

I still feel I can *just about* give Sky the benefit of the doubt, especially when there are other more suspicious riders who seem to get away scot free from any pressure. But their reputation really does need some rebuilding, and I feel sorry for any rider on sky who has an even slightly surprising victory this year (for instance if GT does really well at the Giro, or MK's win at strada bianchi) they're going to be under suspicion by association.

While I don't have a huge problem with them 'butting up to the rules' with regards to doing anything that is legal but possibly a bit questionable (the rules are the rules after all) I think for their clean team image they should have been documenting everything they've done and why, for a team so obsessed by details they seem to have left an area glaringly vague, more like something I'd expect from an Italian ontinental team (not that I have anything against those teams)

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The Hoggs [3496 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

Its been a PR nightmare for Sky but as for the whole team drug taking etc its more down to peoples dislike of the team and just wanting to having a pop at them.

After all IS there any evidence at all that it was an illegal substance, i'm not talking about the "no one failed a test" blah blah blah but actual evidence that it was a steriod, epo etc or is it all down to peoples supposition that it was ?  

However if there was wide spread drug taking on a whole team level what about the riders who have since left and go on to win stages / races with other teams (Porte, Gerrans, Cav, Hayman) are they still taking the drugs and their current teams are complicite in this or is it all just a storm in a tea cup whipped by the press or rather a reporter who wants to make a name for himself ?

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The Rake [76 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

If anyone would have come forward I would have thought it might have been Thomas Lovkvist or JTL - both of whose performances deteriorated after joining Sky. So far as I know they haven't thrown mud at the team, although any doping could be centred on a discreet inner circle. Just not sure how or why Froome would have been brought into said inner circle. 

They definitely look like a bunch of muppets at the moment though

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The Hoggs [3496 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

JTL - his performance dropped because he wasn't getting anything at Sky, perhaps his teams, Endura and Rapha - Condor should now be looked at as well in light of his form with them. I always liked Lovkvist, even back when he rode for FDJ which was probably the best part of his career, but he never set the world alight after that with regular performances.  

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SingleSpeed [383 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

road.cc is becoming almost unreadable for me, because there's so much advertising on the index page, it takes an age to load. It also keeps auto-scrolling, or jumping to another part of the page lower down with a video advert.

 

Edit your localhosts file

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STiG911 [283 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Agree with RobD and Stumps - insofar as this is a PR fudge by Sky, there's been no evidence of actual doping, yet people are still too keen to throw mud.

Look into any team in any sport and you can guarantee that they're  playing right up to the rules put in place to guard against cheating, or exploiting performance. It's when teams go past those rules that everyone should be concerned about, not pushing up to the edges.

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Huw Watkins [158 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes
Another David wrote:

This document will likely be an insult to one's intelligence, so no desire to read it. Sky should research the horse/door/bolted scenario

If you read the document, it explains why it ws not published sooner

I strongly suspect that Sky / BC have always pushed limits of legality but I think the fact that none of the insiders  who have made bullying  / sexism allegations have made doping allegations too is telling.

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Jackson [389 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

No mention of why they initially claimed the drugs were for Emma Pooley

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davel [2001 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes
STiG911 wrote:

Agree with RobD and Stumps - insofar as this is a PR fudge by Sky, there's been no evidence of actual doping, yet people are still too keen to throw mud.

I largely disagree on the mud-slinging.

There is the anti-Sky mob, yes: the same people slinging mud over the BS over Froome's power meter data. There are Sky fanboys: the 'nothing to see here' twonks who will happily put their fingers in their ears and whistle even if was coming out that Sky were undeniably the next US Postal. Both sets are obvious and can easily be stepped over in forums and comments.

But Froome used (2?) TUEs and was open about it - he's coming out of this pretty unscathed, except potentially by association. Probably doesn't harm him that he's expressed regret and said he wouldn't want to be doing that again. There's a clear distinction being made between hypocrisy, lies, and using TUEs and being open about it.

And there's the thing. This isn't just a PR disaster. What happened first was that Wiggins 'look no needles' , Brailsford and Sky have painted this whiter-than-white image that leaves no room for grey. And then you have Wiggins lying about having injected and it actually transpiring that there's quite a lot of grey in Sky's armoury. It may well only be pushing TUEs and if you heard that from Astana you might think 'ah, is that all'... But Astana have only ever been just another pro team.

But given Sky's stance, it's hypocritical. It's untrustworthy. Reputation-busting, and they've put a lot into their reputation.

And that's the reason for the PR disaster - people are shifting awkwardly in front of cameras and laptops have been 'stolen' because even the best-case scenario - the exploitation of TUEs - does not fit with the picture Sky themselves painted of themselves.

So that's the reason for most considered 'mud-slinging' in this - it's them rightly being called out on the hypocrisy, and pointing out that they're not quite as squeaky as they like to portray.

tl;dr: Dave isn't the Messiah, he's (been a bit of) a naughty boy.

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Simmo72 [672 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

I just think the house of commons should stay out of it.  Leave it to the professional bodies, not some grubby little rodent eyeing an opportunity to raise their profile on a topic they know nothing about.

Sky have cocked up, but on workflow process and best practice (like in any presured organisation),  that is all. 

This is getting more exposure than the mass exposure of child abuse in professional football clubs for decades....let us put things into perspective, Sky didn't fill out some forms.

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alansmurphy [1255 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

That's a hell of a good point, Chelsea FC actually (do I need to say allegedly) paid people not to come forward with stories of abuse and are still being celebrated for being top of the league...

 

A very short sharp stint in the news!

 

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Huw Watkins [158 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
Simmo72 wrote:

I just think the house of commons should stay out of it.  Leave it to the professional bodies, not some grubby little rodent eyeing an opportunity to raise their profile on a topic they know nothing about.

Sky have cocked up, but on workflow process and best practice (like in any presured organisation),  that is all. 

 

When's that ever stopped anyone?

They're involved becasue the govt. gives £26M of public money to BC each year and the Sky pro team's in the frame because of the way it co-exists with BC sharing people, resources and governance.

 

 

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Simon E [3154 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Stumps wrote:

Its been a PR nightmare for Sky but as for the whole team drug taking etc its more down to peoples dislike of the team and just wanting to having a pop at them.

After all IS there any evidence at all that it was an illegal substance, i'm not talking about the "no one failed a test" blah blah blah but actual evidence that it was a steriod, epo etc or is it all down to peoples supposition that it was ?  

However if there was wide spread drug taking on a whole team level what about the riders who have since left and go on to win stages / races with other teams (Porte, Gerrans, Cav, Hayman) are they still taking the drugs and their current teams are complicite in this or is it all just a storm in a tea cup whipped by the press or rather a reporter who wants to make a name for himself ?

So do we just trust that they are telling the truth? How come they can't explain their actions? Do you not think the Parliamentary committee hearing is not damning?

We all know that the sport is riddled with doping. Doping is not just EPO and blood bags. Team Sky have screwed up and fuelled the hate but they've also raised suspicion for many, many people who had hoped that they would be 100% clean and transparent. Recent revelations over the jiffy bag, Kenacort etc are disturbing. Some of you may have Paul Kimmage marked as a hater but he makes some valid points in this chat with Cycling Tips.

I see Geraint Thomas is one of several riders to tweet support for DB. That's very nice of him but IMHO it will take more than rider tweets to reassure fans of the sport. We've seen it all before, most of us know better than to believe in miracles.

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srchar [708 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
HarrogateSpa wrote:

road.cc is becoming almost unreadable for me, because there's so much advertising on the index page, it takes an age to load. It also keeps auto-scrolling, or jumping to another part of the page lower down with a video advert.

Get an ad-blocker.  The "ad blocking is theft" brigade can sod off.  Websites that support themselves via advertising really ought to make an effort to ensure that their ads don't spoil the browsing experience so much that people turn them off.  For me, that covers pretty much any website with video ads, pop-overs and time delays.

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StraelGuy [1097 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Agreed, I've used AdBlock Plus for years. Still amazes how massively you get bombarded with ads and crap when I access the web on my phone.

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Anthony.C [240 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

The problem is if you use an ad blocker on this site you can't access the menu at the side to look up reviews and stuff. You also can't see or leave likes, FWIW.