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Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky should have their reputations "reinstated" says Brian Cookson

“Ukad have not been able to put a case together so that's the end of the story"...

Ex-UCI president Brian Cookson has expressed his belief that Sir Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky and the sport as a whole should have their reputations “reinstated” in the wake of UK Anti-Doping’s failure to bring charges relating to the now infamous Jiffy bag delivered to the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

A 14-month investigation into the medical package sent to Wiggins ended without charges after UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) failed to identify the contents.

Ukad chief executive Nicole Sapstead said the investigation was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records and information has been handed to the General Medical Council (GMC) which may result in it carrying out its own investigation.

Speaking to the BBC, Cookson said: "I think the reputation of the sport, the reputation of the team and the reputation of the rider Bradley Wiggins should be reinstated.

"At the end of the day I have no idea what was in that package, and have no idea what the so-called whistle blower told Ukad or told the Daily Mail what was in the package. Ukad have not been able to put a case together so that's the end of the story."

Cookson also commented on Team Sky’s approach to therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) after Shane Sutton recently described their use as having been a legitimate means of “finding the gains.”

"I've said many times before I don't think anyone should be surprised when a professional sports team pushes the rules right to the very limit," said Cookson.

"That's what professional sports teams do – you see it in football, you see it in Formula One and so on. That's essentially I think what's happened here; in terms of the structures that were in place at the time, the rules were abided by."

As for whether those rules are fit for purpose, Cookson appears to advocate tighter controls.

"If you want my view I think [TUEs] should be allowed, but if they are allowed then the rider doesn't compete for a limited period of time.

"That's not the rules at the moment. The World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) has looked at the rules time and time again every year and kept the TUE system. It's fit for purpose in their view and sports have to abide by the rules.

"We did tighten the rules up on how TUEs were issued and that's resulted in far fewer being issued. I think that's a good thing."

Cookson was ousted from the UCI presidency in September after David Lappartient won the election by 37 votes to eight.

He expressed surprise at the result. "It wasn't one I was expecting but in politics you have to live and go on and find other things to do. My life will be less stressful and more enjoyable and I'll be able to spend more time riding my bike, so I'm a happy man."

As for what he might do next, he repeated his interest in launching a women’s team.

"I'm looking forward to doing some interesting things for the future. One of them is to put together a women's team, a very high-level thing. I want to try to lift the whole paradigm of women's cycling.

"It's something I started doing at the UCI and I want to do more of it now with a hands-on approach to a team in the future.

"From 2019 the UCI is going to insist on having two levels of teams for women in the same way there are three for men.

"There will be a new level of women's world tour teams and they will have to adhere to higher standards, better funding, proper salaries and so on and that's something I want to do with a team based in the UK."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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30 comments

Avatar
Harmanhead | 6 years ago
0 likes

  

  Fucking hell! If team sky and Bradley were Doping they wouldn’t of had a jiffy bag situation. They’d have David blane flying over with his invisibility cloak on. No one would find out! All that money they and a reputation at stake and they base it all on a Jiffy bag deliverary. If they doped then they’ll be found out sooner or later. If not then they are dirty and everything else is dirty. 

Avatar
J90 | 6 years ago
1 like

Fuck off, Crookson.

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes

David, that link doesn't appear to be to the news article you're referring to, seems a bit of a mistake...

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davidtcycle | 6 years ago
0 likes

Interesting piece on the news this morning about footballers with exercise-induced asthma.

Seems a lot suffer from it.

https://davidtphotography.com

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Rapha Nadal | 6 years ago
1 like

I'll look forward to a comprehensive breakdown of these "offences" then, your honour.  Or shall I just wait for a knock on the door from the internet police?

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like

Don,

 

Any team that had anything delivered. The team were under no obligation to record every delivery and the media got a bit excited about one paricular piece of stationery.

 

Rapha,

 

It's not your first offence is it, that's why I linked you with The Doctor, waiting to pick up on any negative story. You have a right to dislike, just as I have a right to like. If they'd done anything wrong then it would damage their reputation in my eyes too but people have slung mud over and over and come up with nothing. To be fair, I didn't even realise it was the Froome story, I just throw this rubbish out there and forget about it  1

 

You may be right in that they've suffered a little damage based on their promoted whiter than white image if they've been playing towards the grey area. Still though, they're within the rules whilst many riders have been banned in the time period and it's not had any impact on team reputation...  

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drosco | 6 years ago
2 likes

A team and a rider using PEDs before major races to gain a competitive advange. What sort of reputation would you expect to have?

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RobD | 6 years ago
0 likes

I think he's right that Sky/Wiggins played by the rules (by pushing up to their limits) but I think he's wrong about their reputation needing reinstating, they did what they did (legally) got found out, they have to live with it. If the UCI were coming out and accusing them of cheating then yes they would need a formal apology etc.

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Leviathan | 6 years ago
4 likes

I think your reputation is like your spleen; vulnerable to damage but you can live without it. I've never heard of anyone having one replaced.

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Nixster replied to Leviathan | 6 years ago
0 likes
Leviathan wrote:

I think your reputation is like your spleen; vulnerable to damage but you can live without it. I've never heard of anyone having one replaced.

LOL!

Issue seems to be they had a reputation they didn't deserve (whiter than driven snow) arising from the unrealistic and hypocritical expectations of the british public (win at all costs but play fair... oh, not really at all costs, actually) and didn't/don't get the benefit of innocent until proven guilty when the inconvenient details emerged.  Add self serving journalists and politicians into the mix and tears were fairly predictable before bedtime.

I look forward to supporting Team Hovis Vittel in future, thus avoiding all potential disappointment.

Avatar
alansmurphy | 6 years ago
7 likes

I've been told to be wary of answering such questions online...

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
5 likes

Anyone else waiting for The Doctor and Rapha Nadal to return from their romantic afternoon liason?

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Jackson replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

Anyone else waiting for The Doctor and Rapha Nadal to return from their romantic afternoon liason?

How old are you mate?

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Rapha Nadal replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes

alansmurphy wrote:

Anyone else waiting for The Doctor and Rapha Nadal to return from their romantic afternoon liason?

Eh?  I'm flattered that I'm at the forefront of your mind but what on Earth are you talking about?

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alansmurphy replied to Rapha Nadal | 6 years ago
2 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

alansmurphy wrote:

Anyone else waiting for The Doctor and Rapha Nadal to return from their romantic afternoon liason?

Eh?  I'm flattered that I'm at the forefront of your mind but what on Earth are you talking about?

 

You 2 normally wade in anything Team Sky or Wiggins related, it was just a flippant remark, crack on...

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Rapha Nadal replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes

alansmurphy wrote:

Rapha Nadal wrote:

alansmurphy wrote:

Anyone else waiting for The Doctor and Rapha Nadal to return from their romantic afternoon liason?

Eh?  I'm flattered that I'm at the forefront of your mind but what on Earth are you talking about?

 

You 2 normally wade in anything Team Sky or Wiggins related, it was just a flippant remark, crack on...

So disagreeing with you in an article about Froome constitutes "wading in on anything Team Sky or Wiggins related" does it?  Have a word with yourself.  We get it; Sky can do no wrong in your eyes but sadly, reality differs wildly from your opinion.

Sky have damaged their own reputation here I'm afraid.  Not only with this whole jiffy bag saga but also by not getting rid of Moscon who's done more than enough reputation damage on his own!

But hey, you crack on...

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes

I'm diabetic, should I and the Novo Nordisk team be suspended every time we take insulin as that would be tricky...

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BigSherm | 6 years ago
2 likes

Are the rules the rules, or not?

Doing everything within the very limits of the rules to win is legal.

 

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don simon fbpe replied to BigSherm | 6 years ago
0 likes
BigSherm wrote:

Are the rules the rules, or not?

Doing everything within the very limits of the rules to win is legal.

 

Excellent, we can finally clear this up then.

What was in the bag then?

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alansmurphy replied to don simon fbpe | 6 years ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:
BigSherm wrote:

Are the rules the rules, or not?

Doing everything within the very limits of the rules to win is legal.

 

Excellent, we can finally clear this up then.

What was in the bag then?

 

We'll spend a hell of a long time going back to discover what was in all teams deliveries, busses, cars et al over the last 6 years...

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
don simon wrote:
BigSherm wrote:

Are the rules the rules, or not?

Doing everything within the very limits of the rules to win is legal.

 

Excellent, we can finally clear this up then.

What was in the bag then?

 

We'll spend a hell of a long time going back to discover what was in all teams deliveries, busses, cars et al over the last 6 years...

Which teams are these that are under suspicion? What have they done?

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zanf | 6 years ago
4 likes

Did anyone expect anything different from Brian 'wet fart' Cookson? Especially considering all this happened on his watch.

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davel replied to zanf | 6 years ago
2 likes
zanf wrote:

Did anyone expect anything different from Brian 'wet fart' Cookson? Especially considering all this happened on his watch.

I thought his middle name was 'slopey shoulders'.

To be fair, the thing about keeping TUEs but enforcing a period of suspension/recovery is about the most sensible thing I've ever read from him.

Too bad he's not had the opportunity to lead on that as, oooh, I dunno, the head of the UCI, say...

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check12 | 6 years ago
1 like

Maybe he's got a future career as a comedian, funniest thing I've heard in a long time! 

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
5 likes

It's not though is it?

 

'Never tested positive' is because they didn't have the appropriate measures or the will in place to do anything about it.

 

In this instance they made a set of rules, they stuck to the rules, received written confirmation they could take what they did and so did so. If you think the rules are wrong, too loose etc then that's fair enough, but it's a different matter entirely.

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Edgeley | 6 years ago
6 likes

Thank goodness he isn't UCI President any more.  He is slipping down the path of his predecessors, making excuses for people gaming the system.  "UKAD couldn't make the case" is the same argument as "he never tested postitive", even if the facts of the Wiggins and Armstrong cases appear to be different.

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STiG911 replied to Edgeley | 6 years ago
5 likes
Edgeley wrote:

Thank goodness he isn't UCI President any more.  He is slipping down the path of his predecessors, making excuses for people gaming the system.  "UKAD couldn't make the case" is the same argument as "he never tested postitive", even if the facts of the Wiggins and Armstrong cases appear to be different.

There's no 'appears' about it. Armstrong was deliberately and systematically doping over many years; Wiggins sought treatment to overcome a specific condition using the mechanism put in place to do so legally. Very different.

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Roberj4 | 6 years ago
2 likes

I wonder how TUEs are standing up for Bradley in the world of rowing!! laugh

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Jimnm replied to Roberj4 | 6 years ago
2 likes
Roberj4 wrote:

I wonder how TUEs are standing up for Bradley in the world of rowing!! laugh

he’ll be taking sea sick pills lol  3

Avatar
Jimnm | 6 years ago
1 like

Shane Sutton’s statement is bang on. In competition everyone wants to gain a legitimate advantage over their rivals. TUEs opens up that opertunity. I’m sure Bradley would never do anything to contravene the rules, now would he. 

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