British Cycling has promised to overhaul its relationship with Team Sky and launched an investigation into what happened with the triamcinolone which was ordered by its doctor, as revealed at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing.
The revelations around Team Sky and British Cycling from the Ukad head, Nicole Sapstead, were described as “shocking” and “unacceptable” by the UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl at a press briefing in Manchester with the British Cycling chair Jonathan Browning on Thursday, and there may also be implications for British Cycling’s Lottery funding when settlements are made this month.
The blurred relationship between Team Sky and British Cycling was heavily criticised by the select committee on Wednesday, and Browning said that there were currently no individuals with joint responsibilities within the two bodies, and they would aim for “maximum clarity of the separation of the roles and activities”.
He added: “There are some areas where there will be benefit of supporting each other and sharing but they need to be very clearly deified and boundaries drawn between the two organisations.
“I would characterise the separation as substantial now. There is still contact between the two organisations and there are no individuals with dual roles, but we are going to step back and look at it again to make sure we avoid any potential conflict of interest.” British Cycling later confirmed that the two bodies no longer share a room containing medical supplies within the building they both use in Manchester.
Browning added that an inquiry into medical procedures within British Cycling (BC) will take in whether the triamcinolone ordered by Dr Richard Freeman was administered to Olympic squad athletes and to what medical purpose, but he said that the incomplete records and the need to maintain patient confidentiality will not make this a simple task.
“We need to have that audit; it’s unacceptable that those records were not complete and clear and available. We will be following up exactly as I’ve said in reviewing our medical services and record-keeping and we will be fixing these things.” However, he added: “You cannot simply go in and look at an individual’s medical records. That has to be done by qualified and authorised individuals. The medical records have to be got to a position where they are complete and available for the appropriate individuals to review.
“Those agreements will contain conditions,” said Nicholl, when asked about possible implications for British Cycling’s future funding, adding: “Those action plans that we’ve talked about and these other commitments that BC is now making will be in there as a condition of grant and there will be timescales. The reputation of BC is taking a big hit over this period and the responsibility of the leadership of BC is to restore the credibility and reputation through the actions that they take.”