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.”
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.