The head of UK Anti-Doping has described evidence given by Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford and British Cycling executives at a recent parliamentary hearing as "extraordinary" and "very disappointing".
Speaking with the BBC, David Kenworthy, who has been chairman of the anti-doping body since 2009, rued a lack of clarity in the controversy surrounding the 'mystery' medical package couriered from the UK by British Cycling employee Simon Cope to the Team Sky doctor at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine in France.
The delivery of the package is under inspection as part of an ongoing UKAD investigation into 'allegations of wrongdoing', and key figures were called before a parliamentary select committee last month to give evidence. British Cycling president Bob Howden, board member George Gilbert and former technical director Shane Sutton all denied knowledge of the contents of the package, which was carried across two customs borders in a five-day journey costing nearly £600.
"People could remember a package that was delivered to France, they can remember who asked for it, they can remember the route it took, who delivered it, the times it arrived. The select committee has got expense sheets and travel documents," argued Kenworthy.
"So everybody can remember this from five years ago, but no-one can remember what was in the package. That strikes me as being extraordinary. It is very disappointing."
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When Brailsford appeared before the MPs, he revealed he'd been told by Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman that the package contained fluimuicil, a legal decongestant. Although a paper trail has been produced detailing Cope's movements – and dining choice at Gatwtick airport – no one has thus far been able to produce documentary evidence to substantiate Brailsford's suggestion.
"Well that's what Dave Brailsford came out with at the hearing. But actually, if you recall, he didn't say: 'I know that's what it was'. He said: 'I have been told that's what it was’," noted Kenworthy.
"There's still no definite answer from anyone who was involved. I still don't know what was in there; I'm no nearer finding out than you are."
The head of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, Damian Collins, has suggested that those involved in the initial hearing could be invited back to give fresh evidence, along with new witnesses. That will only happen when UKAD has wrapped up its investigation.
"We're not giving up on this," added Kenworthy, "and we'll dig and delve and find out what was in that package."
Team Sky have continually denied any wrongdoing, while British Cycling has said it will not comment on the situation until the UKAD investigation concludes.
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