Nicole Cooke to give evidence to MPs tomorrow in doping investigation

Former world and Olympic champion has very strong views on drugs cheats

Former world and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke will give evidence tomorrow to a House of Commons committee that is examining doping in sport. Given the strong views she has expressed on drugs cheats in the past, it's unlikely she will pull any punches.

The 33-year-old, who retired from professional cycling four years ago this month, will appear by videolink at 11am tomorrow before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, which is chaired by Folkestone & Hythe MP, Damian Collins.

Her appearance comes a month after British Cycling president Bob Howden and fellow board member Dr George Gilbert, former coach Shane Sutton and Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford were grilled by the committee.

Cooke is believed to have given evidence to the independent review of British Cycling ordered by UK Sport in the wake of allegations of discrimination and bullying made against former Great Britain Cycling Team technical director Sutton

Writing in the Guardian last year, she said that elite cycling is “sexist by design,” and she has equally forthright views on doping.

Announcing her retirement in January 2013, she said: "I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean. If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great.

> Nicole Cooke retires and goes out with guns blazing against dopers

"I have been robbed by drugs cheats, but am fortunate, I am here with more in my basket than the 12-year-old dreamed of.

"But for many people out there who do ride clean; people with morals, many of these people have had to leave the sport with nothing after a lifetime of hard work - some going through horrific financial turmoil."

Ten times a British national champion, the highlight of Cooke’s career came in 2008, when she won the road world championship in Varese, Italy, a month after winning gold in the road race at the Beijing Olympics.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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