Wiggins package was medical, confirms Team Sky’s Sutton
Team Sky coach Shane Sutton confirmed yesterday that a mysterious package delivered to Bradley Wiggins’s doctor during the 2011 Dauphine Libere contained medical substances.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is probing alleged wrongdoing at Team Sky and British Cycling, who share headquarters, and the package, delivered by British Cycling coach Simon Cope, forms part of its investigation.
Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford has refused to clarify exactly what the package contained, but Sutton confirmed it was medicine that would have been administered by team doctor Richard Freeman.
“I believe (Freeman) administered the medication,” Sutton told the British government’s Culture, Media and Sport committee during a hearing about doping in sport in central London.
“Obviously there was a medical supply he (Cope) delivered. I don’t know what was in the package.
“Whatever it was, he (Freeman) would have administered. When the ingredients of the package comes out, everybody will be clear. I’m quite sure, 100 percent, there’ll be no wrongdoing.”
The Daily Mail has reported the package was delivered on the day Wiggins won the Dauphine Libere stage race in France, giving him the biggest victory of his career at that point. It has emerged Wiggins was granted therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to take banned anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone before the 2011 Tour de France, the 2012 Tour, which he won, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Five-time Olympic champion Wiggins, Cope, Brailsford and British Cycling have all strongly denied breaking anti-doping rules.
Sutton, who stepped down from his role as British Cycling team director over sexism allegations earlier this year, said he had little contact with Team Sky’s medical team. “My role in all of this was to be part of Brad’s coaching team, not Brad’s medical team,” he said.
“Knowing the kid (Wiggins) for many, many years, as far I’m concerned he never worked outside any rules.
“Given the fact Dave Brailsford was probably the pioneer behind clean cycling and created what is probably the cleanest team in the world-he set up a zero-tolerance programme-there was no wrongdoing there. “I can’t state strongly enough there was no wrongdoing on any part of Brad and Team Sky.” Australian Sutton appeared to become frustrated as the session progressed and at one point said he was “quite upset” Team Sky’s integrity was being questioned.
Earlier, British Cycling president Bob Howden said he did not know what was in the package in question. George Gilbert, chair of British Cycling’s ethics commission, said the package might have contained “pedals” or “spare shoes”. —AFP