Sir Dave Brailsford has hit out at David Kenworthy after the Ukad chairman branded recent evidence submitted by British Cycling and Team Sky ‘extraordinary’ and ‘very disappointing’. The Team Sky principal has responded by saying: “The only extraordinary thing, I think, was the chairman of Ukad’s comments the other day when he commented about an ongoing investigation.”
Ukad is currently investigating a Jiffy bag delivered to Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.
In his testimony about the same matter before the select committee for culture, media and sport, Brailsford said that he had been told that the substance in the package was Fluimucil, a decongestant.
However, the chair of the select committee, Damian Collins MP, said that British Cycling had been unable to supply documentation to back up this assertion.
"There's still no definite answer from anyone who was involved. I still don't know what was in there; I'm no nearer finding out than you are.
"People could remember a package that was delivered to France, they can remember who asked for it, they can remember the route it took, who delivered it, the times it arrived. The select committee has got expense sheets and travel documents.
"So everybody can remember this from five years ago, but no-one can remember what was in the package. That strikes me as being extraordinary. It is very disappointing."
Speaking at Team Sky’s annual media day in Majorca, Brailsford told the Press Association: “As an organisation like Ukad and for the chair to say it is an extraordinary thing – that’s the extraordinary thing in itself.”
“Most fair-minded people recognise that if there’s a process in place to try to establish exactly what went on then we should wait till the end of that process, see what the findings are, see where we are at that moment.
“Once that’s all established, then we can move on from there. To try to dive in halfway through and undermine that process is not … for me, I don’t think most fair-minded people would think that was the best way of doing it.
“I’m not going to get pulled down into the weeds as it were. I’m just going to respect that process, do the right thing and then when that’s concluded we can all move on.”
In light of those comments, it was perhaps unsurprising that Brailsford should then refuse to be drawn on whether he was considering his position. “Look, I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve been focusing about getting through the winter and getting to this point,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting cracking into the new season and see whether we can improve on our results so far.”
Brailsford was also asked by the BBC whether he still retains the support of Chris Froome after the rider appeared to offer only somewhat ambiguous backing on Friday. “I’m confident that we’re going to the Tour de France this year and give it absolutely the best shot,” was all he could offer in reply
Asked the same question again, he responded: “Like I say, I’m proud of what I’m doing and I’m confident we’re going to go forward and do all the right things to make sure we win the right races this year, and that’s what we’re going to do.”