UK Anti-Doping has been placed under formal investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency for allowing British Cycling to conduct its own probe into one of its riders in the lead-up to the London Olympics in 2012, according to reports.
In 2011 it is understood Ukad let British Cycling try to seek out a potential doper themselves after a British rider was drug-tested out of competition and their urine was found to contain an unusual amount of the banned steroid nandrolone, according to reports in the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday. But British Cycling’s findings were never made public and Ukad admits it has “no record” of what happened. Wada’s code compels Ukad – not a governing body such as British Cycling – to undertake such investigations.
“We have asked our independent intelligence and investigations department to look into this matter further and to contact Ukad to seek further information,” a Wada spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday.
“Under Article 20.5.6 of the 2009 code, national anti-doping organisations had an obligation to vigorously pursue all potential anti-doping rule violations within their jurisdiction, including investigating whether athlete support personnel or other persons may have been involved in a case of doping. The elements you have provided are of significant concern to Wada.”
On Ukad allowing British Cycling to test urine for nandrolone, the Wada spokesperson said: “The rules related to the specific activities of national governing bodies are a matter for Ukad. However, all such NGBs are under the umbrella of the relevant signatory to the world anti-doping code and therefore bound by its terms.
“Article 6.1 of the code states that for the purposes of establishing the presence of a prohibited substance, samples shall be analysed only in Wada-accredited laboratories.
“Any allegation that an NGB may be testing their athletes in private, in a nonaccredited lab, for the purposes of screening for a prohibited substance should be investigated thoroughly.”
A Ukad spokesperson said: “We cannot confirm or comment on individual Test missions or results.”
Ukad was happy to explain that sometimes “threshold substances” are reported negative but were below the level at which an investigation is called for and can exist in the body naturally. “We work within the Wada framework and are always happy to work with them if they require further information from us.”