A Member of Parliament heading an inquiry into doping in sport has said that “a cloud now hangs over one of our greatest Olympians” – Sir Bradley Wiggins – following yesterday’s announcement by UK Anti-doping (UKAD) that it had concluded its investigation into British Cycling and Team Sky and that no charges would be brought.
The investigation focused on the therapeutic use exemptions granted to Wiggins ahead of key races including the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, and the medicine destined for him that was couriered to former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.
Damian Collins, who chairs the House of Commons Select Committee for Culture Media and Sport, told the Daily Telegraph that the outcome of UKAD’s probe was “not an exoneration of anyone.”
The anti-doping agency said yesterday that a “lack of accurate medical records” had hindered its investigation, and was a source of “serious concern.”
UKAD has said it will pass some of the evidence it collected during the investigation to the General Medical Council for possible further action.
Collins said: “I think it clearly shows that UKAD does not have the powers it needs and I've been very clear on this.”
“UKAD currently relies on people's willingness to cooperate. It has no legal authority to compel anyone to speak.”
The MP, who said his committee would be publishing its report “in the next few weeks,” also said that he was leaning towards in favour of criminalising doping.
“I think so,” he said. “I was very struck by the evidence [former rider] Nicole Cooke gave to the select committee when she said that in those countries where doping is illegal, they have much more effective investigations.”
He insisted that neither British Cycling nor Team Sky had emerged from the investigation with credit, saying: “What’s clear from UKAD's statement is if Sky and British Cycling had kept proper medical records, this could have been wrapped up a lot sooner.
“It is unacceptable. A cloud now hangs over one of our greatest Olympians.”
After UKAD’s statement was published yesterday, Wiggins took to social media to say that he welcomed the announcement, but questioned why the investigation had been launched in the first place.
"No evidence exists to prove a case against me and in all other circumstances this would be an unqualified finding of innocence,” added Wiggins, who said that at times during the past year he felt like the victim of a “malicious witch hunt.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.