Wiggins unlikely to face punishment over 'mystery package'

Bradley Wiggins is unlikely to face any further investigation or punishment over the mystery jiffy bag couriered to the Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, according to a report published in The Times. However, the UK anti-Doping Agency's (UKAD) ongoing investigation into 'wrongdoing within cycling' could still see Team Sky and British Cycling reprimanded.

Team principal Dave Brailsford and former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton are due to appear before the British Government’s culture, media and sport committee on December 19 to answer questions around the mystery package.

Following the revelations surrounding Wiggins' use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), a report emerged in the Daily Mail in October, stating that a package had been sent to Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Dauphine. British Cycling's women's coach Simon Cope, who is now the boss of the WIGGINS continental team, was paid to travel from Manchester, where British Cycling is based, to La Toussuire in France, where he handed what was later confirmed to be a 'medical package' to Freeman. He also brought some spare clothes for the team.

Cope denied any knowledge of the contents and said that it was not out of the ordinary for members of British Cycling to make deliveries.

Brailsford has so far refused to detail what the package contained, saying that it was unlikely to help matters with a UKAD investigation underway. He initially said that Cope had been in France to visit British rider Emma Pooley, who was actually racing in Spain at the time.

Brailsford admitted that he handled the fall-out from the TUE revelations – which showed that Wiggins had gained permission to receive injections of triamcinolone acetonide prior to the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d'Italia – and the questions about the package very badly.

The Times reports that UKAD is close to ending their investigation, which was launched in October. In addition to Cope, another member of staff is understood to have told UKAD that they have no recollection of what the package contained. UKAD has concerns about documentation kept by British Cycling and Team Sky, says the paper, along with the transportation of medicine. It is unlikely that any charges will be made.

British Cycling faced further accusations from former rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who said that Freeman, working for the Great Britain road team, had 'freely' handed out controversial painkiller tramadol at the 2012 World Championships. Luke Rowe and Stephen Cummings, who both rode at the 2012 Worlds, both denied the claims.

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