Sky and British Cycling won't face 'jiffy bag' charges

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

British Cycling and Team Sky have issued a statements in reaction to the news that UK Anti-Doping will not be bringing charges in relation to its investigation into the mystery package delivered to Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

The agency said that it found it impossible to confirm the contents of the package personally transported from Britain to France via Switzerland by British Cycling employee Simon Cope, and administered by the-then Sky team doctor Richard Freeman to Bradley Wiggins.

While Team Sky's doctor Dr Richard Freeman claimed it was a legal decongestant named Fluimicil, neither the team nor British Cycling had sufficient medical records to fully verify this account.

Ukad said it had been "unable" to prove the package contained fluimucil.

A statement on the organisation's website said: "Put simply, due to the lack of contemporaneous evidence, UKAD has been unable to definitively confirm the contents of the package".

In summarising their recent investigation, UKAD concluded that their efforts had been "hampered by a lack of accurate medical being available at British Cycling". This is a serious concern, ' she said.

'As part of their conditions to receive public funding from UK Sport and other Home Country Sports Councils, all sports governing bodies must comply with the UK National Anti-Doping Policy'.

A statement from British Cycling head Julie Harrington read: "I would like to thank Nicole Sapstead and her team at UKAD for the diligence and determination they have shown in investigating this matter".

UKAD can not punish British Cycling for a lack of medical records as this does not count as an anti-doping violation, but it said it would co-operate with any future inquiry by the General Medical Council, which regulates the conduct of doctors in Britain.

"We note that UKAD have referred information arising from their investigation to the General Medical Council and we offer them our wholehearted cooperation", said Harrington.

"We have written to British Cycling and a copy of this letter has also been sent to UK Sport and Sport England".

In response to Wednesday's announcement, Team Sky said in a statement: "We are pleased that UK Anti-Doping have concluded their investigation and that they will not be taking any further action".

"We have always maintained that there was no wrongdoing and we have co-operated fully with UK Anti-Doping over the previous year".

She admitted that the findings represent "an organisation and culture that, despite delivering on the world stage, did not meet the high standards that British Cycling today holds itself to" and supported UKAD's move to pass its evidence onto the General Medical Council.

British Cycling has defended its link with Team Sky as 'a positive force for cycling in this country.' However Harrington accepted that 'The relationship between British Cycling and Team Sky developed rapidly and as a result, at times, resulted in the blurring of the boundaries between the two'.

The multiple Olympic gold medallist, together with Sky, has always denied any wrongdoing but the Fancy Bears revelations led to a wider debate about whether the medical exemption process in cycling was being abused.

"We are intent on ensuring that the integrity of our record-keeping is never called into question again", she added.

"Since our inception as a new pro cycling team in 2010 we have continually strengthened our systems and processes so they best support our strong commitment to anti-doping".