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  1. #1
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    Sky got some 'spaining to do

    Stolen Team Sky medical records leave UK officials skeptical | VeloNews.com

    Sapstead had hoped to bring clarity to whether a package sent out to Team Sky for eight-time Olympic gold medalist Wiggins, in June 2011 at the climax of the Critérium du Dauphiné, contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil, as Freeman says. It has been alleged, however, that the package contained the banned corticosteroid triamcinolone, and Sapstead said although there was no record of Freeman ordering Fluimucil, there were invoices for Kenalog — a brand name for triamcinolone.
    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  2. #2
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    Actually they're past that. There's nothing to explain.

    When asked, they keep giving the "I don't know" or "I don't remember" or "all the information was stolen."

    The coverup is fully fleshed out already, it's far too late to start trying to "explain" anything, it's only about covering your own ass at this point.

    At this point they're basically neck deep in it, it's over for them. The amount of drugs they had is not explainable, and their attempt by saying they were handing them out to staff, family and friends instead of riders is beyond laughable.

    The entirety of British Cycling is corrupt, there's no escape now for poor Froomey even. I don't care how much of a saint you say you are, if you're a hell's angel, you're a hell's angel.
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  3. #3
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    I pretty much stopped watching cycling after Armstrong anyway. I can see nothing has changed. I do not watch the other Pro sports either so I am not giving one the ok while not the other. It's all bunk.

  4. #4
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    I suggest picking it up again.

    Don't put any stock in the winners, don't get attached to a certain team or whatever, but just watch.

    These guys are lunatics. And Sagan is correct, safety left a while back, the UCI and the organizers don't give a damn about the athletes. The crashes are insane. The routes and finishes are insane. There's some real crazy stuff going on currently, unfortunately too crazy because athletes are getting killed and mangled by it. But that aside, it's great entertainment, really top level stuff some of the time, edge of the seat sort of craziness.

    Worth a watch just for the danger of it.

    And no, disc brakes don't add any more danger, they'll just muck up wheel changes ruin the flow of the race.
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  5. #5
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    Let me first say that I'm no Sky fan. The individual riders I like to varying degrees, but the team itself? Not so much. Any team that proclaims their cleanliness that loudly is setting themselves up for a fall. Ask Vaughters.

    That said, I'm having trouble seeing this as a team-wide conspiracy. I can see this more of a case of bad management being blindsided by the actions of a few. For all of Sky's attention to details, it seems a few slipped through the cracks that are really coming back to bite them. Explain? I think they're finding that the problems don't have an excuse. The reports of pain killers being handed out like candy isn't anything new (in any sport). Riders will seek out the team doctor(s) that will hand them out most freely, because of the high expectations put on them in the team structure. The lack of resource management that would uncover this is what's most damning- did they just turn a blind eye or were they really that incompetent?

    I'm not sorry to see them taken down a notch or two. I hope it will result in a few of those promising riders that make Sky' dominance possible moving on, balancing the Grand Tour landscape a bit.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    That said, I'm having trouble seeing this as a team-wide conspiracy. I can see this more of a case of bad management being blindsided by the actions of a few. For all of Sky's attention to details, it seems a few slipped through the cracks that are really coming back to bite them. Explain? I think they're finding that the problems don't have an excuse. The reports of pain killers being handed out like candy isn't anything new (in any sport). Riders will seek out the team doctor(s) that will hand them out most freely, because of the high expectations put on them in the team structure. The lack of resource management that would uncover this is what's most damning- did they just turn a blind eye or were they really that incompetent?
    Conspiracies rarely if ever are organization wide. Just need most doing their job and a few key members on the team.

    The network was 9 doctors, I think it was, for the team. They had an account, online, that all doctors were, by policy, told to put all of the patient (rider) information. One doctor repeatedly refused to put the information online and kept it all in his laptop. That laptop vanished... big surprise.

    It wasn't painkillers. I think Tramadol or whatever it is is still legal for them to take. This was an illegal drug, one that's banned outright that you either need a TUE for or you can't take. The steroid or whatever it is that Wiggins was taking "just in case" a reaction to pollen were to kick in while riding in the future.

    The doctor was asked and told repeatedly to put the data online by his fellow doctors but refused to comply. The records showed that he ordered far more of that banned drug than all of the TUEs combined and they had it at their headquarters. They claim it was for the staff or whomever, but not the riders.

    Basically they've been caught. There was a package... it had drugs in it says Brailsford, but he said they were legal ones. They needed some drugs from the stash for the race man. They sent "the most overqualified carrier in history" to get the package and deliver it. The contents are still a mystery, they say it was legal drugs, most think it was more of this illegal drug they had on hand. They're really, really close to outright busted.
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  7. #7
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    Sky's Brailsford reveals triamcinolone treatment | VeloNews.com

    Brailsford is doubling down.

    He knows his job and livelihood are on the line and he's made a very risky move.

    Again, this is about a steroid, which they had LARGE quantities of on hand that is a banned drug. Far more than all of the TUE's and prescriptions and everything combined for all of the riders.

    They've been busted with a large cache of steroids.

    Brailsford said that all of the extra steroids were not for riders, no, not at all. They're there, in fact, for HIM. Yup, that's right, for him. The claim of the extra drugs just being for "family, friends and staff" apparently wasn't enough, so now he's putting himself dead center.

    “Whilst this is normally managed with oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on one occasion a clinical decision was made to treat the symptoms within the joint with an intra-articular corticosteroid injection,” Brailsford said in comments published in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph
    Wait... on one occasion? Um...

    He's getting other staff members to put their necks on the log too:

    Great Britain academy coach Keith Lambert has also revealed he was treated with the drug.

    So to break it down simply, Team Sky has been caught with a large cache of illegal steroids. The same kind Wiggins is under fire for for the TUEs that had no medical backing. Their official claim is that the drugs aren't for the riders, but for the staff. That the staff needs injections of steroids regularly for... reasons.

    There's proof of a package being sent from the corrupt doctor straight to Wiggins. From the drug cache warehouse directly to the team bus at the Dauphine. They claim the package had drugs in it, but just some over the counter stuff.
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  8. #8
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    You have hay fever, Sir Bradley. Here, take these steroids.

    Sounds ridiculous when you drop pretense like that

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Conspiracies rarely if ever are organization wide. Just need most doing their job and a few key members on the team.
    .......
    They're really, really close to outright busted.
    Great explanation MMsRepBike. I haven't been following this too well as I don't pay much attention to SKY and Brailsford, but they are really in the crap here. Wiggo really has taken a hit too. He shouldn't have won that TdF anyway, Froome was the better rider. I wonder if any punishment will come of this or if Brailsford will step down?

  10. #10
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    Almost this very same thing happened with Team US Post Office or whatever Lance's team was. He got busted with this very same drug at the tour, tested positive for it. And for a different drug the team got busted with quantities of, their excuse was that the drugs were for staff, family and friends, not the riders.

    Wasn't it just six months or so ago that Brailsford was claiming that he didn't even know what the drug was or that it could be a doping drug?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    Let me first say that I'm no Sky fan. The individual riders I like to varying degrees, but the team itself? Not so much. Any team that proclaims their cleanliness that loudly is setting themselves up for a fall. Ask Vaughters.

    That said, I'm having trouble seeing this as a team-wide conspiracy. I can see this more of a case of bad management being blindsided by the actions of a few. For all of Sky's attention to details, it seems a few slipped through the cracks that are really coming back to bite them. Explain? I think they're finding that the problems don't have an excuse. The reports of pain killers being handed out like candy isn't anything new (in any sport). Riders will seek out the team doctor(s) that will hand them out most freely, because of the high expectations put on them in the team structure. The lack of resource management that would uncover this is what's most damning- did they just turn a blind eye or were they really that incompetent?

    I'm not sorry to see them taken down a notch or two. I hope it will result in a few of those promising riders that make Sky' dominance possible moving on, balancing the Grand Tour landscape a bit.
    That's more or less where I am on it. Once the hysteria is discounted, we do know that Freeman didn't follow team protocols, we know that no one tested and reviewed adherence to these protocols and that it wasn't even clear which team - Sky or BC was responsible because of the shared resources and lack of clear delineation. These are governance failures that should have been audited and reported.

    Anyone who knew/knows anything about cycling would know that Sky was a shambles at times e.g. the reaction to Wiggins' crash out of the TdF, Froome starting TTs with cotton wool up his nose, refrigerators in team cars shorting electrics etc. The Brailsford "Mr Organised" myth was swallowed by the mainstream media who know nothing about cycling and are now in shock / looking for revenge. The Brailsford come-uppance on this is well overdue

    As for the UKAD evidence, it was stated that more than enough "drugs" were supplied for one person's use but the amount was not quantified during the evidence. It could have been x3, x30, x300. So far, Freeman is the only person to have made claims over the contents of the jiffy bag and given the background, his statement to UKAD, prior to the hearing, is questionable. As for the jiffy bag, we know it was handed to Freeman but there is no evidence that its contents were for use on Wiggins. UKAD found no hard linkage between these events that could prove malpractice.

    So lots of very justified criticism and corroborated evidence of a complete lack of corporate governance at BC and Sky. Even their crisis management of this debacle has been woeful. No hard evidence of any drug / TUE malpractice at BC / Sky (in no little part due to the lack of records) but some questions for Dr Freeman to answer and perhaps answer them to the medical rather than cycling authorities.

    .... and lots of speculation, some of it informed, some of it not.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    That's more or less where I am on it. Once the hysteria is discounted, we do know that Freeman didn't follow team protocols, we know that no one tested and reviewed adherence to these protocols and that it wasn't even clear which team - Sky or BC was responsible because of the shared resources and lack of clear delineation. These are governance failures that should have been audited and reported.

    Anyone who knew/knows anything about cycling would know that Sky was a shambles at times e.g. the reaction to Wiggins' crash out of the TdF, Froome starting TTs with cotton wool up his nose, refrigerators in team cars shorting electrics etc. The Brailsford "Mr Organised" myth was swallowed by the mainstream media who know nothing about cycling and are now in shock / looking for revenge. The Brailsford come-uppance on this is well overdue

    As for the UKAD evidence, it was stated that more than enough "drugs" were supplied for one person's use but the amount was not quantified during the evidence. It could have been x3, x30, x300. So far, Freeman is the only person to have made claims over the contents of the jiffy bag and given the background, his statement to UKAD, prior to the hearing, is questionable. As for the jiffy bag, we know it was handed to Freeman but there is no evidence that its contents were for use on Wiggins. UKAD found no hard linkage between these events that could prove malpractice.

    So lots of very justified criticism and corroborated evidence of a complete lack of corporate governance at BC and Sky. Even their crisis management of this debacle has been woeful. No hard evidence of any drug / TUE malpractice at BC / Sky (in no little part due to the lack of records) but some questions for Dr Freeman to answer and perhaps answer them to the medical rather than cycling authorities.

    .... and lots of speculation, some of it informed, some of it not.
    and as with Postal, give it time. Chit will come out. Forgeting to upload data to Dropbox for 3 years when Dropbox does this AUTOMATICALLY by DEFAULT?? One would have to manually, with intents and purposes, disable the automatic upload feature. The truth shall come out eventually. But do you notice a pattern of accumulation of damning evidence against British cycling in the past few years? yeah, peak every 4 years for the Olympics.

  13. #13
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    I've no doubt other information and accusations will come to light over the next few weeks. Some of it will be valid, some will be from people with scores to settle e.g. those fired by Sky and some from journalists who feel they were mugged by the Sky PR machine i.e. they didn't do their jobs as journalists properly.

    As for the 4 year cycle, it's no secret that BC select and train for this; their funding is almost all dependent on Olympic success. As a team, unlike most of their competitors, they don't place much emphasis on the Worlds - these are seen more as nice to haves.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    As for the UKAD evidence, it was stated that more than enough "drugs" were supplied for one person's use but the amount was not quantified during the evidence. It could have been x3, x30, x300.
    UKAD reveals Freeman received delivery of testosterone in 2011 | Cyclingnews.com

    UKAD has established that sixty to seventy 40mg vials of triamcinolone were delivered to the Manchester velodrome in 2011, though no medical records have been produced to justify such a quantity.
    Seems to me like there's a quantity of the steroids known, in contrast to what you're saying.

    I understand you're trying to be a voice of reason or to try to stick up for them or whatever, but you should check your facts first.
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    Sunday Times confirmed that this was an error on the part of the supplier and there is an audit trail to confirm this.

    Seems to me like there's a quantity of the steroids known, in contrast to what you're saying.

    I understand you're trying to be a voice of reason or to try to stick up for them or whatever, but you should check your facts first.
    Thanks for the gratuitous advice but perhaps you should follow it yourself. UKAD during their evidence did not quantify the amount. The numbers that you have repeated have come from an unidentifed "source" and have not been confirmed by UKAD. That may, of course change, but right now it is just hearsay.

    I'm as keen as anyone to get more confirmed details but some of the reporting in the sports media on this saga is just incompetent

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    The numbers that you have repeated have come from an unidentifed "source" and have not been confirmed by UKAD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cycling News
    UKAD has established
    Okay, so the press is lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    I'm as keen as anyone to get more confirmed details but some of the reporting in the sports media on this saga is just incompetent
    Okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. If they're lying, or reporting lies, or fake news, or whatever you want to call it, that's fair enough. Call a pig a pig.

    I haven't personally read anything directly from UK Anti Doping, so I'm not going to stick up for the press if they're falsely reporting on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I haven't personally read anything directly from UK Anti Doping, so I'm not going to stick up for the press if they're falsely reporting on it.
    It's not so much lying but more giving a false impression e.g. In the case of Cope, it has been reported several times that he made a special journey from his home in the south of England to Manchester in the north. In fact Cope was domiciled in the South of England and commuted to Manchester every Monday and returned every Friday. His "special" journey was in fact routine.

    The thing that really disappoints me is that the committee of MPs on Wednesday were useless. If they had spent less time grandstanding and more time doing some forensic questioning, we might have got somewhere (they were shocked to hear that you could take bikes by air as part of hold luggage - clueless). UKAD weren't much better and were making a thinly disguised bid for more funding. If UKAD had been on the ball, much of the current debacle could have been exposed earlier and by debacle I mean the complete lack of governance at BC / Sky. On this point alone, I think Brailsford should go - he failed in his capacity as head of the organisation.

    .. and back to UKAD, I believe that they were incompetent in the Lizzie Armistead case. I don't believe that Lizzie was doping but I do believe that she missed 3 "tests". If UKAD had done its job properly the test in question would have followed the correct procedures. It didn't, so didn't count.
    Last edited by coldash; 03-05-2017 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Rampant spellchecker

  18. #18
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    Where are all the Sky sympathizers to call us all butthurt American Lance Armstrong fanboys????

    Sometimes I wonder if they were cashing in on the Armstrong drama to keep everyone distracted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    In fact Cope was domiciled in the South of England and commuted to Manchester every Monday and returned every Friday.
    Is that the claim? I though the journey in question was the flight from Manchester to Geneva then a drive to France, to deliver a product that could have been purchased at the delivery location in France for something around €10.

    Further casting doubts on the innocence of the whole thing is that Brailsford initially claimed the bag was for Emma Pooley as opposed to Wiggins, until it was shown that she was in Spain at that time. Then of course Brailsford claimed that, even if the bag was for Wiggins, he could not have received it because the team bus left before he wrapped up post race obligations. Which was refuted by video of Wiggins next to the bus post race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handbrake View Post
    Is that the claim? I though the journey in question was the flight from Manchester to Geneva then a drive to France, to deliver a product that could have been purchased at the delivery location in France for something around €10.
    Yes that was the point that the committee questioned and that "special" journey appears to have a murky expense associated with it (he always drove to Manchester but seems to have also claimed for rail fare expenses.

    The journey to Geneva is a separate issue.

    The poor reporting is clouding the whole sorry episode.

    PS Remember the Olympic skier who lost his bronze medal because he bought an OTC nasal spray in Canada that contained a banned substance whereas the UK version didn't. Since then they've been a bit paranoid about buying anything from the local drug store - just in case (I think is actually against their rules now)

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    Oh please! All racing has a high element of risk. Pushing the limits is what drives most folks--except "those poor spirits that neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat".

    Your presumption that these poor ignorant racers are being used is just another marketing tool of the merchants of victimization.
    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I suggest picking it up again.

    Don't put any stock in the winners, don't get attached to a certain team or whatever, but just watch.

    These guys are lunatics. And Sagan is correct, safety left a while back, the UCI and the organizers don't give a damn about the athletes. The crashes are insane. The routes and finishes are insane. There's some real crazy stuff going on currently, unfortunately too crazy because athletes are getting killed and mangled by it. But that aside, it's great entertainment, really top level stuff some of the time, edge of the seat sort of craziness.

    Worth a watch just for the danger of it.

    And no, disc brakes don't add any more danger, they'll just muck up wheel changes ruin the flow of the race.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    The journey to Geneva is a separate issue
    Of course it is. As is the business about the T patches.

    This is how it always starts, and I expect for quite some time the truth won't be known. One either accepts it and enjoys the action or becomes angry at the whole thing. The latter seems like a poor way to live to me.

    Why is this forum mostly dead despite this Sky business being front and center in cycling news?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handbrake View Post
    Of course it is. As is the business about the T patches.

    This is how it always starts, and I expect for quite some time the truth won't be known. One either accepts it and enjoys the action or becomes angry at the whole thing. The latter seems like a poor way to live to me.
    This has all moved on a bit. I'm traveling right now but AIUI, the Flumicil that is reported to be in the package was a formulation sourced from Munich in Germany and held in store in Manchester. It is not the same as the stuff available from your regular French drug store. Make of that what you will.

    The other aspect that the media report is that a special journey was made to France via Switzerland with an implication that this is an unusual route to take. They don't report that Geneva airport is on the Swiss / French border and has an exit to each country. Geneva is the normal acces point to the French alps. None of this poor reporting helps

    I expect that we'll never know or at least prove what happened. It will be a matter of belief

    Anyway, there are two very good races going on right now - makes for better viewing
    Last edited by coldash; 03-10-2017 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Spellchecker again

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handbrake View Post
    Why is this forum mostly dead despite this Sky business being front and center in cycling news?
    Well, the forum as a whole is dead. Seriously, when the Lance thing was breaking it was a lot busier as a whole, with a lot more unique contributors to each thread.

    The other part is that we have a whole lot of smoke but no real fire yet. Basically the press is having a field day with a team that has played the superior card for so long, delighting in making Sir Dave and the rest of the gang dance to a constantly changing tempo. It's fun to watch, but there isn't any hardcore scandal just yet. Maybe one will develop, maybe it will fizzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    Basically the press is having a field day with a team that has played the superior card for so long, delighting in making Sir Dave and the rest of the gang dance to a constantly changing tempo. It's fun to watch, but there isn't any hardcore scandal just yet. Maybe one will develop, maybe it will fizzle.
    and that press and the BBC rammed this stuff down our throats. They feel conned and are looking for redemption. They forget that DB said they would push to the limits but not cross them. Remember also that the Daily Mail is not renowned as a shining example of the media and is an avowed enemy of the Murdoch empire

    Walsh is trying to distance himself from the 2012 embedding with Sky. Both he and UKAD would find much more wrong doing in the rugby rather than cycling world but seem reluctant to make a big issue of it.

    PS. no one in mainland Europe cares about this
    Last edited by coldash; 03-10-2017 at 09:59 PM.

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