British Cycling's Medical Supplier Refuses To Cooperate With Investigation
The "storm engulfing Team Sky and British Cycling erupted again on Monday," according to Matt Lawton of the London DAILY MAIL. It emerged that the medical supplier that sent a batch of a banned substance to British Cycling's HQ "has refused to co-operate with the governing body's own investigation." The company which sent testosterone patches to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in '11 was reportedly Oldham-based Fit 4 Sport Ltd. Team Sky's then-medical director and current team psychiatrist Steve Peters claimed in March that the "highly controversial" package was "sent in error," but neither the company nor a former team doctor have provided sufficient evidence to prove that. British Cycling said on Monday that it will terminate its relationship with Fit 4 Sport. British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington: "As part of our own internal investigation, we invited Dr. Freeman and our national medical supplier, Fit 4 Sport, to contribute and we were disappointed we didn't get any cooperation. We will be reviewing our supply partner" (DAILY MAIL, 11/20).
SUTTON SCRUTINIZED: In London, Ben Rumsby reported British cyclists "angrily condemned" former British Cycling Technical Dir Shane Sutton for declaring that applying for a therapeutic use exemption was a "legitimate way" to "find a gain" if athletes felt "below their best." Sutton, who was also a coach at Team Sky, said that he had "definitely" never crossed the line and broken any rules but added, "If you have an athlete who is 95 percent ready and that little five percent niggle or injury that is troubling him ... if you can get that TUE to get him to 100 percent, yeah, of course you would in those days. ... Finding the gains might be getting a TUE? Um, yes, because the rules allow you to do that." Olympic champion Katie Archibald and Paralympian Jody Cundy "hit out at the outspoken Australian." Archibald said, "That's completely against the ethics of the sport." Cundy added, "If that's the attitude people are taking to medical things then it's a good job he's gone. It's disappointing to hear that the TUE system was abused but I don't think it's just our country, it's the whole world and it was seen as, 'If they're doing it, then we'll do it.' ... It pisses me off that there are people out there who are willing to abuse it to get an advantage" (TELEGRAPH, 11/20).