Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford insists they and rider Sir Bradley Wiggins have done nothing wrong amid the controversy over Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).
Some critics have questioned the timing of the permission to use a drug which is ordinarily banned for its performance-enhancing properties, but Brailsford denied the rules had been abused.
“Abuse is the key word. People have abused it in the past,” he said. “The question was: ‘Is there a genuine medical need?’. Given the integrity of the process – there was a doctor and authorities who approved this – I didn’t see any need to question this. I felt I could trust it.”
Team Sky "is 100 per cent clean"
Brailsford said that Team Sky had only received 13 TUEs in their seven-year history and denied that they had compromised on their public “zero tolerance” policy towards doping.
“I cannot agree with that,” he added. “What I can tell everybody is that we are doing it the right way. It is 100 per cent a clean operation, we always look at the right thing to do, and have policies and process to make sure we perform in the right way and people can believe in us.”
Wiggins’ TUE came to light earlier this month when Russian hackers stole and leaked medical data for dozens of athletes who participated at the Rio 2016 Olympics, including the 36-year-old and fellow British cycling star Chris Froome.