UK Anti-Doping closes Team Sky jiffy bag probe, but questions remain
The UK Anti-Doping Agency has closed its Team Sky jiffy bag investigation after claiming it was hampered by "a lack of accurate medical records being available at British Cycling".
Team Sky have come under the microscope in recent months after a UK Anti-Doping investigation was launched into a package ordered by former team doctor Richard Freeman and delivered to Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race.
Wiggins had described allegations that he may have broken anti-doping rules while with Team Sky as "the worst thing to be accused of" and said he would "shock a few people" when he eventually got the chance to defend himself.
On Wednesday, UKAD said its investigation had hit a dead end.
"UKAD's extensive investigation into the package (sometimes referred to as 'the Jiffy Bag') delivered to Team Sky during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine has concluded," said UKAD in a statement.
" In order to protect the integrity of its investigations and its investigatory processes, UKAD does not - as a matter of policy - comment publicly in relation to its investigations. However, in light of the significant public interest in this particular investigation, which has previously been discussed by the Parliamentary Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UKAD can confirm that this investigation has now been drawn to a close."
"Despite very significant effort on UKAD's part, UKAD remains unable to confirm or refute the account that the package delivered to Team Sky contained Fluimicil. It follows that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges in relation to the package.
"As with all investigations, UKAD may revisit matters if new and material information were to come to light. Otherwise however, UKAD has now exhausted all the investigative possibilities open to it at this stage, and it is therefore not actively pursuing any further lines of enquiry in relation to the package."
"UKAD pursued a number of lines of enquiry arising from its investigation into the package. In doing so, UKAD became aware of information that it considered to be of possible interest to the General Medical Council (GMC). UKAD has shared that information with the GMC, and will continue to liaise with the GMC as appropriate in relation to that information. UKAD will not comment further in relation to this."
UKAD have passed their findings to the General Medical Council in the knowledge the GMC could access private medical records based on legislation. UKAD have been forced to close their investigation so that GMC can continue their probe.
Team Sky released a statement welcoming the news of the investigation
"UK Anti-Doping has today confirmed that it does not intend to bring forward any anti-doping charges in relation to its investigation into issues around the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine. This investigation has now been brought to a close," said Team Sky.
"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 last year.
"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."
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead has said it "a serious concern" that there was no record of what was delivered to Wiggins.
Wiggins, a five-time Olympic champion and the 2012 Tour de France winner, had welcomed the investigation. He said in March of this year:
"It's the worst thing to be accused of as a man of my integrity given what I believe and what I've done to get to where I am today."
"But..there is an investigation under way and I can't say too much, but that will run its course. Eventually I will get my say and there is a lot to say. It's going to shock a few people."