Wada finds ‘potential wrongdoing’ in drug tests of UK cyclists

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A report from the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered “potential wrongdoing” by “individuals” involved in drug testing of British cyclists.

The agency’s independent Intelligence and Investigations department launched its Operation Echo investigation in March amid allegations against British Cycling and UK Antidoping over the measures taken in 2011 in preparation for the London Olympics.

Commenting on his summary report, Wada I&I Director Günter Younger said: “Operation Echo confirmed potential wrongdoing by individuals from British Cycling and Ukad at this time.

“As a result of this investigation, a copy of our report was provided to WADA’s Compliance, Rules and Standards department for review.

“In addition, the synthesis report has been provided to the Union Cycliste Internationale – the governing body under which British Cycling operates – and the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their attention. “Operation Echo” does not make any corrective recommendations as those involved in the events of 2011 are no longer employed by UKAD, and UKAD has already put in place protective measures to prevent a recurrence of the event.

“It is important to recognize that WADA I&I benefited from the full cooperation and transparency of British Cycling and UKAD throughout our investigation. “

The report states that British Cycling employees investigating the potential contamination of the supplements collected samples from elite runners on the basis that Ukad would never know the results and had them analyzed for the anabolic steroid nandrolone by a non-lab. accredited by Wada, contrary to Wada rules.

Operation Echo also established that at least one Ukad employee was aware of the situation and the agency has no record of receiving the scan results.

However, he found no evidence to support claims that Ukad disclosed biological passport data of individual athletes to British Cycling in 2016, or that he allowed two athletes to advance a defense against supplements. contaminated following unfavorable results to privately test the products in question and that Ukad had accepted the results at a subsequent anti-doping hearing.

British Cycling said the report did not attribute any fault to the organization for the role it played in the 2011 study, and that the staff member who coordinated it with Ukad had left the organization there. several years ago.

In addition, he highlighted the changes he has made to his own procedures, including the appointment of a chief medical officer accountable to the CEO, the creation of a clinical governance committee and the introduction of the holding of electronic medical notes.

A statement read: “These improvements demonstrate the standards we hold ourselves to and which British Cycling members and fans of our sport rightly expect us to achieve.

“Despite the fact that Wada did not attach any fault to British Cycling, these improvements mean that the events of 2011 described in Wada’s review could not be repeated at British Cycling today and, although he cannot there is room for complacency, we are proud of the progress we have made. towards our ambition to become a leading governing body in the world.

In March, former British Cycling and Team Sky chief medical officer Richard Freeman was permanently removed from the medical register after admitting or found guilty on 21 of 22 counts relating to the testosterone order at the British Cycling headquarters in 2011, as well as poor record keeping and inappropriate treatment of non-riders.

A spokesperson for Wada welcomed the report’s findings and said: “Wada’s report focuses on issues from 2011 and the involvement of one person, who is no longer employed by Ukad. We recognize that these questions would not take place today.

“Wada’s report makes it clear that the test results carried out by British Cycling were all negative and notes the negative results of Ukad’s own extensive tests on British cycling athletes at the time.

“We agree that anti-doping organizations should be held to the highest standards and we will fully consider the content report. However, Wada made no recommendation for action by Ukad.

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