One of the central figures in the UKAD investigation into potential wrongdoing between Team Sky and British Cycling has told Cyclingnews that he is willing to meet the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on February 22 but that he must clear his diary of a Team Wiggins event first.
Simon Cope, who travelled from Manchester to the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011 to deliver a medical package for Bradley Wiggins, told Cyclingnews on Monday that he has not been directly contacted by the select committee, despite a member of the British Parliament stating that an invitation to attend their inquiry had been issued.
"How come BBC Sport know that I'm going to the select committee before I even know?" Cope asked Cyclingnews when contacted on the phone less than two hours after the select committee announced that Cope had been asked to attend.
"I just got sent a link to the BBC. I've not been contacted by the select committee to go up there. They've not got in touch with me to see if I can go. There have been emails going around, but no one has actually contacted me personally from the select committee.
Cope told Cyclingnews that the select committee had attempted to reach him via Simon Fuller's XIX agency. The company in question worked with Wiggins until earlier this month, but that he had not held talks with them.
"There was an email sent to XIX saying that they wanted to contact me. So obviously they don't have my direct email address. I'd like to know how that's got out before I even know."
When asked if he would attend the inquiry on February 22, Cope stated that he had plans, but added that he would change his current schedule. He is expected to attend the committee hearing alongside the head of UKAD and Dr Richard Freeman, who, according to Team Sky, asked for the medical package to be sent to the Dauphine and then administered its contents to Bradley Wiggins at the end of the race.
"Well I can't [go]," Cope said of the inquiry. "I'm not in the country. I'm in Spain at a training camp. I'll be travelling back. Well, they haven't contacted me. It's not that I'm adverse to going, but surely they've got to ask if I'm available. They've not asked me personally. I would go, but the problem is I've got to drive a car back from Spain from a [Team] Wiggins training camp."
"This puts a whole cloud over the whole thing," Cope added.
"If they can't even get their act together, I just shake my head. Stuff is leaking out before they've got hold of the people that are supposed to be going.
"Of course I'll go. I don't want to go because I don't see what I can add. I don't know what was in there and also there's some fact… I wasn't the women's coach. The coach and the manager are two different things. I was the women's road manager. But yes I would go. Yes."
Cope reaffirmed that he had no idea what was in the package when he transported it to from Manchester to the Dauphine. Team Sky have claimed that the package contained the decongestant, Fluimucil.
"Hand on heart, hand on my kids' hearts, I do not know what was in there. It's not for me to ask. People ask 'why didn't you?', but why would I ask? I trust who I work for. There's never been any inkling of anything untoward so why would you question it."