Pres­sure mount­ing on Brails­ford

Ukad head calls Sky chief’s evidence ‘ex­tra­or­di­nary’ Con­tents of trans­ported Jiffy bag still to be ver­i­fied

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Cary CY­CLING COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The pres­sure on Team Sky’s em­bat­tled prin­ci­pal, Sir Dave Brails­ford, has been ratch­eted up still fur­ther with David Ken­wor­thy, the out­go­ing chair­man of UK Anti-Dop­ing, warn­ing that his or­gan­i­sa­tion “will not give up” un­til it has found out what was in the pack­age flown out to Sir Bradley Wig­gins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

In a dra­matic in­ter­ven­tion in the long-run­ning saga, Ken­wor­thy said the evidence given to a par­lia­men­tary se­lect com­mit­tee last month by Brails­ford and other cy­cling chiefs was far from con­vinc­ing, de­scrib­ing it as “ex­tra­or­di­nary” and “very dis­ap­point­ing”.

Brails­ford told a se­lect com­mit­tee last month that he had been told by Team Sky’s doc­tor that the Jiffy bag con­tained a le­gal de­con­ges­tant called Fluimu­cil. How­ever, three months af­ter launch­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Ukad has still not been able to ver­ify that claim, and MPs are threat­en­ing to hold an­other hear­ing as the ques­tions be­come more in­sis­tent.

Ken­wor­thy, who has been chair­man of Ukad since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2009, told the BBC that the tes­ti­mony given to MPs by Brails­ford, his for­mer coach Shane Sutton, and Bri­tish Cy­cling’s pres­i­dent, Bob How­den, was “very dis­ap­point­ing” – in par­tic­u­lar, he said, the in­abil­ity of any­one to re­call ex­actly what was in the pack­age.

“There’s still no def­i­nite an­swer from any­one who was in­volved,” he said. “I still don’t know what was in there; I’m no nearer find­ing out than you are.

“Peo­ple could re­mem­ber a pack­age that was de­liv­ered to France, they can re­mem­ber who asked for it, they can re­mem­ber the route it took, who de­liv­ered it, the times it ar­rived. The se­lect com­mit­tee has got ex­pense sheets and travel doc­u­ments.

“So ev­ery­body can re­mem­ber this from five years ago, but no one can re­runs mem­ber what was in the pack­age. That strikes me as be­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary. It is very dis­ap­point­ing.”

When asked about Brails­ford’s Fluimu­cil ex­pla­na­tion, Ken­wor­thy said: “Well that’s what Dave Brails­ford came

out with at the hear­ing. But ac­tu­ally, if you re­call, he didn’t say, ‘I know that’s what it was’. He said, ‘I have been told that’s what it was’.”

Si­mon Cope, who was a Bri­tish Cy­cling em­ployee at the time and now Wig­gins’s epony­mous cy­cling team, was the man who car­ried the Jiffy bag out to France. He has pre­vi­ously said that he had no idea what was in the pack­age he was asked to de­liver.

Asked whether Bri­tish Cy­cling ought to have had records of what he was car­ry­ing, and whether Cope should have known what he was trans­port­ing, Ken­wor­thy added: “One would think so, one would hope so. Here’s an in­di­vid­ual [Cope] who’s car­ry­ing a pack­age con­tain­ing medicine across in­ter­na­tional bound­aries, and he’s no idea what’s in them.

“One could say he could be putting him­self at risk if they are drugs which one could not prop­erly trans­port. Some­one should be in­quis­i­tive enough to say, ‘Well, what is it I’m ac­tu­ally tak­ing?’”

Brails­ford, from whom Sky’s star rider Chris Froome ap­peared sub­tly to dis­tance him­self in a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day, will ad­dress the me­dia for the first time since Septem­ber at Team Sky’s pre-sea­son train­ing camp in Ma­jorca next week.

And he is likely to be put un­der fur­ther pres­sure, with Ken­wor­thy warn­ing him: “We’re not giv­ing up on this, and we’ll dig and delve and find out what was in that pack­age.

“One of the tragedies of all this is you’ve got prob­a­bly one of the great­est cy­clists that the UK has pro­duced [Wig­gins], who’s just com­ing to his re­tire­ment, and all the talk is not about the suc­cesses that he’s had, but about this pack­age.

“It just un­der­mines yet again the joy of sport.”

More ques­tions than an­swers: David Ken­wor­thy stated his disp­point­ment over evidence to MPs

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