The UK’s anti-doping agency won’t file charges surrounding an investigation into Team Sky’s infamous “Jiffy Bag” incident from 2011.
Despite a year-long investigation involving dozens of witnesses, the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) confirmed Wednesday the inquiry is closed. The UKAD cited a lack hard evidence in its decision to not press further.
“Our investigation was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records being available at British Cycling. This is a serious concern,” said UKAD chief execute Nicole Sapstead in a statement. “I can confirm that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges as a result of the investigation into the package.”
Team Sky dodges a major bullet with UKAD’s decision. The squad was under the microscope following reports of an unknown substance transported to the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, where team captain Bradley Wiggins was competing. Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford claimed the substance was legal decongestant Fluimucil, but he was unable to prove that claim as well.
There was much speculation of what might have been inside the so-called “Jiffy Bag,” but UKAD inquiries over the course of the past 12 months were unable to accurately determine what was being transported.
With no decisive proof despite interviews with 37 individuals, UKAD officials opted to close the investigation.
“No anti-doping charges will be brought in relation to the package as a result of that investigation and all interested parties have been informed accordingly,” the UKAD statement read. “Put simply, due to the lack of contemporaneous evidence, UKAD has been unable to definitively confirm the contents of the package. The significant likelihood is that it is now impossible to do so.”
The “Jiffy Bag” inquiry and reports of leaked documents that Wiggins used triamcinolone with a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) ahead of grand tours, including during his 2012 Tour de France victory, raised questions about Team Sky and its legacy.
Team Sky was quick to issue a statement Wednesday following confirmation of the UKAD decision.
“We are pleased that UK Anti-Doping have concluded their investigation and that they will not be taking any further action,” a Team Sky statement read. “We have always maintained that there was no wrongdoing and we have cooperated fully with UK Anti-Doping over the last year.”