'Bradley Wiggins scandal shows sport needs to catch up with its athletes'

'Sports organisations need to examine responsibilities to their athletes', says Sporting Integrity founder Michele Verroken

The controversy in relation to a lack of proper record keeping by Team Sky and British Cycling continues to grow

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A top anti-doping campaigner has said the case of Sir Bradley Wiggins shows sport's governing bodies need to catch up with athletes' ever-increasing desperation for medal.

Michele Verroken spoke to talkRADIO after Parliament's culture, media and sport select committee heard that no records had been kept of the 'jiffy bag' given to Wiggins at the Tour de France in 2011. It has been alleged that the package contained a potentially performance-enhancing substance.

The doctor who worked for Wiggins' Team Sky at the time, Richard Freeman, pulled out of his scheduled appearance before the committee due to illness. The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), Nicole Sapstead, subsequently launched a scatching attack on Team Sky and British Cycling in front of the committee for their failure to keep proper records.

Verroken, the former director of Drug-Free Sport and founder of the Sporting Integrity consultancy, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "The use of medicines around sport - this isn’t particularly a new story.

"The question is whether there’s been a breach of the rules - that’s what we should be trying to focus on. 

"The infrastructure on governance is playing catch-up with the increased ambition to be world leaders and medal winners on a continuous basis.

"When you overlay that with the anti-doping rules, we’re opening up a Pandora’s Box for the possibility of abuse if we don’t monitor.

"Sports organisations do have to take a careful look at their responsibilities when it comes to their athletes."