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November 16, 2017

No charges against British Cycling or Sky after doping probe


November 16, 2017

LONDON: A 14-month investigation by United Kingdom Anti-Doping into allegations of wrongdoing at British Cycling and Team Sky has ended with no charges being brought against either organisation due to a “lack of contemporaneous evidence”.

An inquiry was launched in September 2016 after British newspaper the Daily Mail reported a mystery package had been delivered to Richard Freeman, the doctor of now retired Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, then a Sky rider.

The package, reportedly delivered at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race in France, was alleged to have contained a banned corticosteroid, but Freeman insisted it was the decongestant fluimucil, a legal substance.

United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) said that despite conducting interviews with 37 current and former staff at both British Cycling and Team Sky, it had been unable to prove or disprove Freeman’s claims.

UKAD said the investigation would now be closed unless new evidence came to light.“Due to the lack of contemporaneous evidence, UKAD has been unable to definitively confirm the contents of the package,” the body said on Wednesday.

“The significant likelihood is that it is now impossible to do so.”An internet hack believed to have been carried out by the Russian Fancy Bears group revealed Wiggins had medical exemptions to use the banned drug triamcinoline at the 2011 Tour de France, and again at the 2012 Tour de France and 2013 Giro d’Italia. He became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012.

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. 

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