Former UCI chief, Brian Cookson, has called for Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky to have their reputations reinstated after a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation failed to bring any charges against the pair.
After a 14 month investigation failed to reveal the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to the team at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, Cookson has said that that is “the end of the story.”
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Cookson said: “I think the reputation of the sport, the reputation of the team and the reputation of the rider Bradley Wiggins should be reinstated.
“At the end of the day I have no idea what was in that package, and have no idea what the so-called whistle blower told UKAD or told the Daily Mail what was in the package. UKAD have not been able to put a case together so that’s the end of the story.”
It wasn’t just suspicions of illegal activities that have taken the spotlight with BBC’s Panorama taking a look at the use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). Talking to Panorama former Technical Director of British Cycling, Shane Sutton, described them as being legitimate means of “finding the gains” because “the rules allow them.”
The is something that Cookson doesn’t feel is pertinent to Wiggo and Team Sky’s specific case.
“I’ve said many times before I don’t think anyone should be surprised when a professional sports team pushes the rules right to the very limit,” said Cookson.
“That’s what professional sports teams do – you see it in football, you see it in Formula One and so on. That’s essentially I think what’s happened here; in terms of the structures that were in place at the time, the rules were abided by.”
But what does the Brit personally think? “If you want my view I think [TUEs] should be allowed, but if they are allowed then the rider doesn’t compete for a limited period of time.”
Questions still arise when it comes to athletes using TUEs and despite the UKAD case producing no results, there will still be clouds hanging over Wiggins and Sky but is that fair?