Wiggins’ ‘mystery package’ doctor quits British Cycling

British Cycling is based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester

British Cycling is based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester

The doctor who received a ‘mystery package’ for Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2011 has resigned from British Cycling because of ill health.

Dr Richard Freeman is part of separate investigations by British Cycling and UK Anti Doping (Ukad) but has been off work with stress-related illness.

British Cycling said it had not been able to finalise its investigation.

But the body added it hopes to help Ukad bring their investigation to a “satisfactory conclusion”.

  • Unpicking confusion about ‘mystery package’

In a statement, British Cycling added: “We hope that upon his return to health, Richard can do his part to help bring to a close ongoing investigations.”

Chief executive Julie Harrington said Freeman was under investigation on “employment matters” while Ukad’s inquiry was related to “doping matters”.

“After some months we were ready to continue with disciplinary action,” Harrington told The Guardian. “Dr Freeman really wasn’t well enough to commence that and so we’ve allowed him to resign.”

Freeman has left the governing body without a financial settlement and was not asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. It is understood he has not been able to speak to British Cycling or Ukad about their inquiries at any point because of his ill health.

The ‘Mystery package’ – background

Wiggins, who won five Olympic gold medals on the road and track, received the ‘mystery package’ when competing for Team Sky on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine in France, an event he won.

Freeman, who was simultaneously employed by British Cycling and Team Sky between 2009 and 2015, has been criticised for not disclosing the contents of the package, stating his laptop containing such records was stolen in 2014.

Freeman did not attend a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing into the matter in February because of his ill-health.

But Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford told the hearing that Freeman had told him the package contained Fluimucil, an over-the-counter product which clears mucus and is legal in sport.

The chairman of the committee – MP Damian Collins – said after the hearing that the “credibility of Team Sky and British Cycling is in tatters”.

Brailsford has previously admitted he handled the situation “badly” but has consistently defended Team Sky’s stance against performance-enhancing drugs, stating that the British-based team can be “trusted “100%”.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41691267

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