UKAD investigation rolls on as Brailsford's parliamentary questioning looms

Cope still in the dark regarding contents of medical package

The UK Anti-Doping's investigation into allegations of wrong doing at British Cycling and Team Sky remains ongoing, with original plans to release a statement on the progress of the investigation held back.

UKAD had planned to release a statement this week, with hopes of updating the media on their efforts. However that has now been postposed ahead of Monday's parliamentary inquiry into doping, at which Dave Brailsford, Shane Sutton and British Cycling's chairman, Bob Howden, are set to answer questions from British MPs as part of the Culture Media and Sport Committee.

The timing of the conclusion of UKAD's investigation – and the decision to change their plans on releasing an update - has no relation or bearing on the appearance of key cycling figures at the committee, according to the anti-doping body.

"We never fully committed to it [ed. an update on the investigation] but we said that if we were going to say something then it would be before Christmas," a spokesperson for UKAD told Cyclingnews.

"There has now been a change of plan and it comes down to the investigation. Basically we are not in a position to say anything, yet, without it being detrimental to the investigation. It's ongoing and when we are in a position to say something, we will. We're just not going to say something for the sake of saying it."

One source close to the investigation has told Cyclingnews that UKAD are still talking to several parties after they originally launched an inquiry in October. The investigation was set to look into the circumstances surrounding a mystery package that was sent from British Cycling headquarters in Manchester to Team Sky at the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011. Simon Cope, who delivered the package confirmed to Cyclingnews that the package was delivered to Richard Freeman directly.The investigation was also set to look into allegations made by former Team Sky and Great Britain rider, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who claimed that the drug tramadol was offered around the British Cycling team by Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, Richard Freeman at the 2012 Worlds.

Regarding the Dauphine package, Cope also told Cyclingnews in October that he had no idea what the package contained. At the time he said, "It was just an envelope, a Jiffy bag, a small Jiffy bag. As far as I know I could have been Speedplay pedals in there."

Despite pressure to reveal the contents of the package, Team Sky, British Cycling and Dave Brailsford have refused to reveal any details. It is understood that Tiernan-Locke has also given evidence to UKAD, while Freeman has remained in his post at British Cycling while the investigation continues.

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Dauphine in 2011 has previously told Cyclingnews that he would only communicate with the investigation. British Cycling has confirmed that the package was for medical use.

The Daily Mail has previously reported an allegation that Wiggins received a 'private session' in the back of the Team Sky bus with Freeman after completing his podium duties on the final day of the race.

With the investigation still ongoing it remains unclear as to whether any of the parties set to appear will add any information to the story or wait for the conclusion of UKAD's work.

On Friday Cyclingnews contacted Cope, who met with UKAD in November.

"It's all gone quiet on my side. I've nothing more to do with it. I went and gave my story to UK Anti-Doping, whenever it was. I've not had any follow up, I've done my bit and no more has been said on my part," he told Cyclingnews.

According to Cope he still remains in the dark with regards to the package he travelled with hundreds of miles.

"I've told them exactly what I've said. I don't know what was in the package. I was asked to go out to the Dauphine and help with some logistics and I was asked to take a package and that's it. That's the long and short of it, basically."

Cope added that he expected Bradley Wiggins to be cleared in the investigation – as was reported by The Times earlier this month.

"From what I've been led to be believe it's all finished. There's no wrongdoing. That's what I've read in the press, anyway. I think that was on Cyclingnews," he added.

"I definitely read it [ed. that Wiggins would be cleared] somewhere that Wiggins wouldn't get prosecuted. I'm sure it was on Cyclingnews. It's just a story about nothing. I've not heard from anyone since I came out of that meeting in November."

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