Sir Dave Brailsford has said that he was among the staff members that Team Sky doctor Dr Richard Freeman treated with the corticosteroid Triamcinolone. The team has been attempting to explain why it and British Cycling stored what UK Anti-Doping has described as an “excessive amount” of the drug for one person.
The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), Nicole Sapstead, this week told MPs that from records relating to Triamcinolone seen by her organisation, more of the drug was ordered than was needed for the therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins.
While those TUEs were secured in accordance with UCI rules, Team Sky has come in for criticism as Triamcinolone has previously been used by drugs cheats.
Dr Prentice Steffen, of the rival Cannondale-Drapac squad, told The Guardian that he could recall using the drug only three times in a 10-year period.
“I think this has to be looked at with the greater context in view – the three suspicious TUEs that Brad Wiggins was granted just before the three Grand Tours. If they had more than one dose [available], within the context of what they gave Brad for his pollen allergy, I think it’s a bit flimsy.”
The Telegraph reports that as well as athletes, Freeman treated staff members with the drug and it has also been reported that he may have treated friends and family too.
Brailsford said that he had suffered acute swelling in his knee before the Beijing 2008 Olympics and had subsequently undergone an operation on a torn meniscus.
“My joint is at risk of continuous degeneration which can in some instances require having a knee joint replacement. I have had subsequent episodes of severe inflammation.
“Whilst this is normally managed with oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on one occasion a clinical decision was made to treat the symptoms within the joint with an intra-articular corticosteroid injection. This was done with the appropriate assessment, informed consent and subsequent monitoring.
"The treatment was administered to me by our then team doctor, Dr Freeman, who is a musculoskeletal specialist, at the velodrome in line with good clinical practice.”
Freeman had been due to appear before a parliamentary select committee on Wednesday but pulled out due to what is thought to be a stress-related illness. The committee has since requested that he provide written evidence.