Pat McQuaid says British Cycling moved into “grey areas” years ago

Posted on: March 6th, 2018

Pat McQuaid British Cycling grey areas

Pat McQuaid says British Cycling’s move into “grey areas” to win at all costs started years ago and also included the track. He believes Froome’s salbutamol verdict could end Team Sky.


Pat McQuaid says British Cycling operating in “grey areas” for years


Ireland’s Pat McQuaid has suggested British Cycling and Team Sky have for years been willing to venture into “grey areas” to win.

For example, he said British Cycling was using specially made expensive track bikes when the rules stated they should have been using machines that were commercially available.

This was an example of their willingness to push into grey areas to “win at all costs”.

McQuaid said he was at the 2009 UCI World Track Championships when a crash occurred which involved Chris Hoy.

He recalled an interaction with British Cycling staff after the incident.

“I said to them, ‘That must have been a very expensive crash’, because the bikes were wrecked. They told me it was £15-20k worth of damage,” he recalled.

“I was very concerned to hear that. Under UCI rules the bikes were supposed to be commercially available. But these were specially made bespoke machines.

“I spoke to Brian Cookson, who was BC president at the time. And I said it wasn’t acceptable. A few months later the bikes appeared on sale online.”

McQuaid said that after the UK parliamentary report published on Monday, which was damning of Team Sky; he believed Chris Froome’s salbutamol case could finish the team.

“The Froome case may well be the nail in the coffin for Team Sky,” he told cyclingnews. The team would try to “sit it out” but a lot depended on Froome’s verdict.

Pat McQuaid also said he could understand why ASO, which owns the Tour de France, was irate that Froome’s case had not yet been concluded.

Of Team Sky generally, McQuaid did not agree with Bradley Wiggins when he said they had never crossed an ethical line.

And he bemoaned the fact that in sport it was possible to abuse the TUE system without breaking any rules.

“Sky always said that they were whiter than white. That it was all within the rules and down to marginal gains, to diet, pillows and mattresses,” McQuaid said.

“Now we know that wasn’t the whole story. They were misleading people.”

He added while he had tried to tighten up the TUE system while UCI president, it was still too easy for riders – and those in other sports – to get around.

Competitors could abuse the system by breaking no UCI or WADA rules.


Report accused Wiggins of TUE grey area

The report published on Monday accused Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins of that “grey area” practice.

It alleged Wiggins had used corticosteroids under TUEs to gain an advantage rather then treat an illness.

Bradley Wiggins has robustly defended himself against that allegation of crossing an ethical line.

He has pointed out the most serious allegations against him were based on information supplied by an anonymous source.

The information had never been put to him. And it was now impossible for him to defend himself against.