Daily Mail claims Brailsford tried to 'kill' the mystery package story

Team Sky respond to story

Dave Brailsford tried to dispel suspicions about his behaviour and the contents of the mysterious jiffy bag when speaking to the British parliamentary hearing of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Monday but he remains at the centre of the controversy involving Team Sky and British Cycling after being accused of offering alternatives to Daily Mail journalist Matt Lawton in order to 'kill' the story.

Lawton writes in Tuesday's Daily Mail: "This newspaper is obliged to reveal the lengths Brailsford went to in an attempt to kill a story he feared could mark 'the end of Team Sky'."

"First came the offer of an alternative, more positive story. Then possibly a story about a rival team winning races with Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) — something he did not reveal in the end. And at the end of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Brailsford asked if there was 'anything else that could be done?'"

Cyclingnews contacted both Brailsford and Team Sky regarding the matter and were sent the following statement.

"Dave gave public evidence to the Select Committee yesterday for an hour as part of their inquiry into anti-doping. As we have always said we believe what is most important is for UKAD to establish the truth independently. We are confident that when they report it will be clear that there has been no wrongdoing.

"During the Committee session, Dave acknowledged once again his own mistakes in handling the issue over recent months.

"We are continuing to co-operate fully with UKAD and we look forward to their report."

Lawton first exposed details of the mysterious package on October 6, revealing how he had met Brailsford and talked at length about the package. Brailsford first explained to Lawton that Simon Cope had travelled to France to meet Emma Pooley. When that was proved to be untrue, he suggested that the Team Sky bus had already left and so it was impossible for Wiggins to have been treated by Dr. Freeman with the medical contents after the Criterium du Dauphine. That theory was also quickly dispelled.

More on this story:

Brailsford has admitted he was simply relaying information and that he handled the affair badly but has failed to explain why he thinks the story could "mark the end of Team Sky," if the package contained the mucolytic Fluimucil.

"That is the $64,000 question, that is the key question here," Lawton told Irish radio show Off the Ball on Monday night.

"What we have is a picture of Brailsford speaking to the driver, speaking to other members of staff, speaking to whoever, but not speaking to Richard Freeman, who appears to be able to tell him that it was Fluimucil. The thing is that two weeks passed between my first emails about June 2011 and the publication of that story. He had two weeks to tell me it was Fluimucil and that I was barking up the wrong tree.

"It would have stopped me in my tracks and I would have turned to my sports Editor and said: "there's not a story here."

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