Tuesday 24 September 2019

Brailsford faces questions over Wiggins claims

Team SKY are co-operating fully with a UK Anti-Doping investigation into a package sent to Bradley Wiggins at the end of the 2011 Dauphine race. Photo: PA
Team SKY are co-operating fully with a UK Anti-Doping investigation into a package sent to Bradley Wiggins at the end of the 2011 Dauphine race. Photo: PA

Tom Cary

There was further confusion in the Team Sky 'jiffy bag' saga last night as it was suggested that Dave Brailsford may have misled UK Parliament when he told the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Monday that Bradley Wiggins had shared his medical records with a UK Anti-Doping investigation.

It is understood that, contrary to the evidence given by Brailsford, Wiggins' medical records have not been shared with UKAD. However, other sources close to the rider insisted last night that they had been.

The latest development came as Damian Collins MP, the chairman of the select committee, admitted he was "not ruling out" recalling any witnesses - or calling new ones, such as the British Cycling employee Simon Cope, who carried the bag out to France - to get to the bottom of the mystery.

The confusion over Wiggins' medical records is significant as UKAD has still not been able to verify that Fluimucil was the drug administered to Wiggins after the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné, which was what Brailsford claimed on Monday.

The Team Sky principal revealed publicly for the first time that the innocuous decongestant was the medicine in the 'jiffy bag' carried out by Cope - or at least that was what he had been led to believe by Sky's doctor Richard Freeman.

It was suggested to Brailsford that one way of verifying what Wiggins had taken at the time would for him to share his medical records. "You're absolutely right," Brailsford told Collins. "And my understanding is they have been made available to UKAD."

"If for any reason they hadn't, would you urge them to be made available?" Collins asked.

"They have been," Brailsford repeated. "My understanding is they have been."

Asked for a third time by Collins whether, if for any reason he had been misled, he would urge Wiggins' medical records to be made available, Brailsford said he would.

Brailsford was not speaking under oath, and there is no suggestion he intentionally misled the select committee. Brailsford's testimony as a whole, and the manner in which Team Sky have handled the saga, have not convinced everyone, however, with questions raised by Monday's hearing, particularly concerning Brailsford's initial response to the allegations.

The Daily Mail, which broke the story of the package, alleged on Monday night that Brailsford had offered its reporter the inducement of a 'better story' in order to kill the one he had.

Collins said last night: "We need to know when (Brailsford) knew what was in the package, and why he sought to close down a perfectly legitimate inquiry. Brailsford needs to explain what he knew and when - and why he didn't tell (The Mail) what was in the package when he was first asked."

Collins said he hoped UKAD would report early in the new year. "We will monitor UKAD's report closely, and if we feel we can find out extra information we will look at interviewing Simon Cope. We are also open to calling people back to ask them further questions." © Daily Telegraph, London)


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