The doctor at the centre of the Sir Bradley Wiggins jiffy bag controversy has admitted that he regrets failing to back up his medical records for the Tour de France and Olympic gold-winning cyclist.
In a letter to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Dr Richard Freeman reiterated Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford’s assertion that a package couriered from Manchester to France for administration to Wiggins at the end of his 2011 Criterium du Dauphine win contained the prescription decongestant Fluimucil and not the anti-inflammatory drug triamcinoclone, which would have required independent permission.
UK Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead, who is investigating the incident, said Team Sky had been unable to provide documents to back up their explanation because Freeman had failed to update a shared Dropbox system from his laptop, which was later stolen.
Freeman said Team Sky and British Cycling’s records management policies were “a work in progress” in 2011 and that he found the Dropbox system “difficult to use”.
He added: “I accept that it would have been desirable to have backed up my clinical records, whatever system was used. I regret not doing this.”
No "winning at all costs attitude"
Freeman said “only Fluimucil was contained in the package sent” and explained he chose to have it couriered from Team Sky’s Manchester base rather than buy it over the counter in France because he doubted whether it was widely available in nebuliser form at local chemists.
“I do not believe Fluimucil nebuliser solution was then available in France, by contrast to the powder version to be made up with water as a drink for oral ingestion, which I do not believe to be particularly effective,” he wrote.
Freeman’s letter also states that he had “never encountered a winning at all costs attitude” at Team Sky or British Cycling, contrary to recent criticism from former riders.
Select committee chairman Damian Collins hinted that Freeman could be summoned again, having missed the last hearing due to illness, adding: “This new evidence leaves major questions outstanding for Team Sky and British Cycling.”