UKAD and British Cycling face questions over 2010 doping control of ‘prominent track rider’

UKAD (Image credit: UKAD)

UK Anti-Doping and British Cycling face scrutiny over their handling of the case of a British track rider who reportedly returned a sample containing traces of a metabolite of nandrolone in an out-of-competition control in late 2010. The World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed that it is investigating the matter.

The Sunday Times (opens in new tab) has reported that “a prominent member” of the British track team was found to have traces of the steroid nandrolone in a sample taken while they were in Perth ahead of the Track World Cup in Melbourne that December.

According to an unnamed source cited by the Sunday Times, the “lowest possible level” of nandrolone was detected in the sample, which prompted UKAD to alert British Cycling and the rider in question, “amid concerns that it could point to a health problem or a contaminated supplement.”

The Sunday Times reports that UKAD met with the rider in question, while British Cycling reportedly privately tested the rider together with two other riders from the same discipline. All three riders reportedly returned negative tests.

A WADA spokesperson confirmed to Cyclingnews on Saturday that its Intelligence and Investigations Department is seeking information on the case from UKAD.

"Some of the information provided is of significant concern to WADA," said the spokesperson. "We have asked our independent Intelligence and Investigations Department to look into this matter and to contact UKAD to seek further information."

British Cycling declined to comment on the case when contacted by Cyclingnews on Saturday afternoon. UKAD said that it would issue a statement on the case later on Saturday.

The news raises further questions about UKAD’s processes after a Cyclingnews investigation this week revealed that the agency had failed to contact potential witnesses during an inquiry into an historic doping allegation against the former British Cycling and Team Sky coach Shane Sutton. Sutton has strenuously denied all allegations. In 2016, Cyclingnews revealed that UKAD had previously failed to contact key witnesses in an investigation into the Linda McCartney team.

Earlier this month, UKAD confirmed that it has charged the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman with “possession of a prohibited substance” and “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control.”

Freeman was struck off the medical register after a medical tribunal found him guilty of ordering testosterone in May 2011 “knowing or believing” it was to be given to an unnamed rider to improve their athletic performance.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.