Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ woes continue over the former Tour de France winner’s use of TUEs. Yesterday Jonathan Tiernan Locke who used to ride for Team Sky said, “it definitely looks odd that you would apply for a TUE before the major Grand Tours you have a GC ambition in.” And yesterday the Daily Mail reported that Team Sky are facing a UK anti-doping probe amid claims of a medical package delivered to Team Sky officials ahead of the 2011 Tour de France.
Tiernan Locke added further controversy, claiming that the Great Britain Team offered Tramadol, a strong pain killer, to riders even when it was not needed. “I wasn’t in any pain so I didn’t need to take it, and that was offered freely around. It just didn’t sit well with me at the time. I thought, ‘I’m not in any pain, why would I need a pain killer?’” Tiernan Locke is in the process of trying to resurrect his own career after being banned for biological passport irregularities.
Meanwhile, Matt Lawton from the Daily Mail cast further doubt over Team Sky’s ethics when he reported that anti-doping chiefs are investigating allegations centred around a package delivered to Team Sky at La Toussiere ski resort immediately after the last stage of the 2011 Dauphine (which Wiggins had just won).
It is alleged that Simon Cope, a coach for British Cycling, flew to Geneva, hired a car, delivered the package, then flew back to the UK that evening. Despite declaring that he had never been given an injection of a substance that would require a TUE in 2011, it is claimed that Wiggins and Team Sky doctor, Richard Freeman were seen going into the treatment room of the team bus shortly after the cyclist had performed his race winning duties of podium and anti-doping procedures. Matt Lawton has suggested that it raises questions over whether Wiggins did in fact receive an injection at this time, something that has been strenuously denied by the Wiggins camp.