THE chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee has described Team Sky’s response to his most recent set of questions as further evidence it is “lacking” in good governance.
The besieged team have replied to six written questions from Damian Collins MP asking for more information about a former doctor’s records and their use of two drugs at the heart of a six-month investigation by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).
Their correspondence has been published on the CMS committee’s website but Collins believes Team Sky still have questions to answer.
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Collins said: “They appear to be saying that the keeping of records is just a matter for the doctor and General Medical Council (GMC) but I think the team is obliged to know what it is going on too, particularly one that has talked about higher standards.
“It’s a question of good governance and it seems to be lacking. It should be the team’s responsibility to ensure its medical practices are accountable.”
Collins wrote to Team Sky on March 8, a day after its boss Sir Dave Brailsford published an open letter responding to the committee’s evidence-gathering session with UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead a week before.
Sapstead’s testimony about the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in British cycling, and subsequent reports of new claims, prompted Brailsford to write “there is a fundamental difference between process failures and wrongdoing”.
Winners of four of the last five Tours de France, Team Sky have been under scrutiny since October when it was revealed UKAD was looking into a claim former star rider Sir Bradley Wiggins was injected with triamcinolone, a powerful corticosteroid, at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race.
Central to the mystery surrounding what happened at the Dauphine is the claim that Dr Richard Freeman, the former Team Sky medic, cannot find any records to prove he actually gave Wiggins a legal decongestant called Fluimucil because he failed to follow team policy by sharing those records. He then lost his laptop on holiday three years later.
Collins wrote to the team to ask why Freeman was unable to use the file-sharing system, why the missing notes were not uploaded later on and whose responsibility it was to ensure he was following protocol.
Team Sky replied by explaining again that Freeman “struggled” with the Dropbox system but did keep records as required by GMC guidelines. Their response added this was ultimately clinical director Dr Steve Peters’ responsibility but did not say why the missing 2011 records were not retrospectively uploaded.