Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
British Cycling has confirmed that if a package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins ahead of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné contained pharmaceutical products, it will reveal the contents to the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee of the UK Parliament in the next two days. At a hearing taking place at Portcullis House opposite the Houses of Parliament this morning, British Cycling confirmed that it had been prohibited from investigating the contents of the package due to a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation.
UKAD gave its permission for questions to be asked about the package yesterday. ‘This email confirms that UKAD has no objection to members of the Select Committee asking questions about matters that may be covered by UKAD’s investigation into cycling’, read an email from UKAD Chair David Kenworthy. ‘You will be aware from press coverage that the investigation is, in particular, centred on the delivery of a package. Because of speculation surrounding this package it would be quite proper for the Committee to ask questions about this and any other aspect that the Committee considers relevant.’
British Cycling said that if the contents of the package are pharmaceutical, it will have detailed records of them and would be able to find out the contents quickly. However, if the package contained pedals or other cycling equipment, it may not have kept records of that package. “We were told that we were not permitted to ask questions about the contents of the package by UKAD”, said Dr. George Gilbert, a Board Director at British Cycling. John Nicholson MP was highly sceptical of the idea that the package contained anything other than medicine; pointing out that if the package was medical, then Simon Cope would have had to know what was in it to take it across the international border to France.
It is understood that the package was requested by Richard Freeman, Wiggins’ doctor, and was delivered by Cope, British Cycling’s women’s road coach via a flight paid for by British Cycling. “I believe that he administered the medication”, said Shane Sutton, British Cycling’s former Technical Director, when questioned by the CMS Committee. “Dr. Freeman told me he had given Bradley medical treatment after the race”.
In this morning’s session, which began at 11:15, the CMS Committee heard evidence from Robert Howden, President of British Cycling; Dr. George Gilbert, Board Director of British Cycling; Shane Sutton, former Technical Director at British Cycling; and Sir Dave Brailsford, former Performance Director at British Cycling. The second session, which begins at 3pm, will hear from Sir Craig Reedie, President and Olivier Niggli, Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
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