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MPs ‘concerned’ about cycling’s transparency

London Velodrome

The Department for Culture Media and Sport wants transparency in the sport of cycling

MPs want to question British Cycling about therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and are concerned about transparency.

Several athletes have come under scrutiny after stolen medical records showed they used banned substances for medical reasons under TUE rules.

Culture, media and sport select committee chairman Damien Collins, said MPs wanted to understand the system.

“It may well be that nobody has done anything wrong but is the process itself right?” he told the BBC.

It was revealed on Friday that MPs wanted to question British Cycling about the issue and speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek on Sunday, Collins explained: “We want to understand more about the way TUEs works and how British Cycling oversees that as the governing body.

“Cycling has had its problems with doping in the past and we also want to speak to the World Anti-Doping Agency about it.”

TUEs have been brought into the spotlight by the Fancy Bears hackers with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Laura Kenny among the British athletes to have the data of their use leaked.

All of the British athletes whose use of TUEs has been revealed have denied they were seeking any sporting advantage, saying they were issued for genuine medical needs.

The select committee hearing follows those into doping in athletics, which heard submissions from top officials such as president of world governing body the IAAF and London 2012 Olympic chief Lord Coe and British Athletics chairman Ed Warner.

Collins said the committee may also ask British Cycling about claims one of its staff delivered a medical package to Team Sky in France on the day Wiggins won the Criterium du Dauphine in La Toussuire in 2011.

The UK Anti-Doping Agency is already investigating the claims made by the Daily Mail newspaper.

Collins said he did not believe it would be acceptable for British Cycling to say it was unable to recall the contents of the package, which still remains a mystery.

“With something as important as this, they should have records,” he said. “In a sport like cycling, there should be a degree of transparency and that is one of our concerns.”

Sutton maintains innocence

The news of the hearing came as former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton said he was “adamant that I am innocent” after he was found to have used sexist language towards double European sprint champion Jess Varnish.

The governing body expressed “sincere regret” after an investigation led to Varnish’s allegations being upheld.

Varnish, 25, claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail in April that Sutton told her to “go and have a baby”, adding that she had “a list as long as my arm about comments I’ve had about my figure and it’s not right”.

Sutton, 59, resigned in April having been suspended pending the investigation, and could yet appeal or take legal action.

“I have definitely never overstepped the mark with Jess Varnish or any other athlete,” the Australian told the Sunday Telegraph.

“I put my trust in [the investigation]. I have gone back to them now and asked for the supporting evidence to try to understand how they have arrived at this conclusion.”