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Cookson wants Sky reputation restored; Dimension Data on Sagan: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

December 7, 2017

Cookson says Wiggins and Sky should have their reputations ‘reinstated’; Dimension Data ‘surprised’ not to be involved in UCI/Sagan crash investigation; Omloop Het Nieuwsblad mimics finale of past Tour of Flanders; Budget boost for FDJ as team gains new sponsor; Australian national champions Scotson and Garfoot confirm for title defences; Fundraiser for Dave Towle set to surpass target; Video: Behind the Ride with Dan Craven; Video: Catching Breath: Cycling up the Himalayas; Video: Crosshairs Television | 2017 Rapha Supercross Nobeyama Women’s Elite Day 2

Cookson says Wiggins and Sky should have their reputations ‘reinstated’

by Shane Stokes

Although UK Anti Doping were clear that its dropping of an investigation into Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky was not a declaration of innocence, saying that it was “unable to confirm or refute the account that the package delivered to Team Sky contained Fluimucil,” former UCI President Brian Cookson has said that Wiggins and Sky should have their reputations ‘reinstated.’

Speaking to the BBC, Cookson essentially said that the absence of proof put an end the matter. “I think the reputation of the sport, the reputation of the team and the reputation of the rider Bradley Wiggins should be reinstated,” the Briton stated.

“At the end of the day I have no idea what was in that package, and have no idea what the so-called whistle blower told UKAD or told the Daily Mail what was in the package. UKAD have not been able to put a case together so that’s the end of the story.”

Cookson’s statement is not entirely correct: the General Medical Council is looking into the matter, including the delivery of the mystery package to Wiggins in June 2011, the lack of medical records kept by Team Sky and, presumably, former team doctor Richard Freeman’s claims that his laptop with said records on it was stolen while on holidays.

UKAD has also said that it may “revisit matters if new and material information were to come to light.”

Click through to read more at the BBC, including’s Cookson’s view on Team Sky pushing rules to the limit, plus his thoughts on TUEs and on women’s cycling.

Today’s feature image is from Lombardy, Italy, and was taken by Kristof Ramon.

  • Owlaugen

    ‘[Team Dimension Data] reiterated that “Mark Cavendish played no part in the cause of the season-ending crash.”’

    Who are you going to believe? Us or the mountain of footage that suggests otherwise?

    The UCI’s most recent decision took no negative action against Cavendish, so I’m not quite sure what Team Dimension Data’s issue is at this point.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      I think they were upset that they weren’t in the arbitration hearing if I remember correctly; granted we all knew this was a racing incedent. As one commenter in an earlier article stated the main positive of this is how Peter Sagan didn’t whinge and moan about being unfairly kicked out of the biggest race of the year. He reacted with contrition and results and that’s why he’s a world champ.

      • DaveRides

        There was no arbitration hearing in the end. Sagan and Denk finally got to sit down with the UCI and talk through it, like the regulations say they should have been allowed to before the proposed disqualification decision was made.

        • Crash Bandicoot

          I stand corrected. Jesus it’s typical Cycling to kick the freaking best and most exciting rider out of the biggest race for no real reason and at a quick pace.

          • jules

            They didn’t kick him out for no reason. They did it for elbowing Cav into the barriers. That’s undoubtedly a DQ offence and with no need to arbitrate or deliberate over alternative measures.

            The fact he didn’t actually elbow Cav and they may have worked that out had they replayed the footage a couple of times is an entirely separate matter :)

    • velocite

      It’s true that there’s a range of footage available, but there is not universal agreement as to what it means. Your interpretation is different from mine, for example. Since the UCI has apparently reviewed some of this footage it and agreed with Sagan that it was just a racing incident, it seems to me that it would be very helpful if the UCI published the videos with accompanying notes as a tutorial for us all.

      • DaveRides

        A video tutorial would be nice.

        It could be good for the training of new commissaires, given that the UCI was so short of road racing specialists that they had to pull a CX guy out of his sandpit to work as the chief commissaire for the Tour this year.

    • DaveRides

      And the fact remains that DDD did get to weigh in on it, on the day of the incident back in July.

      The commissaires had already decided to penalise Sagan with relegation and a points deduction, which is slightly on the harsh side of proportionate according to the rule book. Commissaires’ decisions are supposed to be final, so that should have been the end of it. So when DDD rocked up, the chief commissaire should have said “sorry but I don’t care who your DS’s dad is, we’ve ruled on it already and that’s it” and we wouldn’t still be talking about it in December.

      The chief commissaire Philippe Mariën has since been removed from the UCI Commissaires Commission, on which he was the cyclocross representative.

      • jules

        I understood that commissaire’s decisions could be appealed? They can’t be over-ruled by non-commissaires though?

        • DaveRides

          12.2.007
          Decisions handed down by the Commissaires Panel are final and not open to appeal.
          An appeal before the Disciplinary Commission is possible only in the case the Commissaires Panel imposed a fine exceeding CHF 200.

  • Neil

    Of all the things that Cookson has said and done, that comment is his dumbest.

    • Patrick Murphy

      I don’t recall anything else he did during his tenure? Oh apart from the odd selfie. Great job Brian, great job.

  • Crash Bandicoot

    Cookson is such a goof! The UKAD stated the truth that it can neither confirm nor deny what was in the package, it’s sky’s fault for such shoddy record keeping and deceit if they where honest and did their jobs it would have been a closed case.

    • jules

      Cookson knows that. Like all UCI players, he’s politically connected and must pay his dues to his supporters. A bit like Verbruggen and McQuaid previously, but probably not as badly compromised as them.

      • DaveRides

        I agree.

        Cookson did not appear to let anything compromise his loyalty to BC and Sky, unlike McQuaid who eventually grew a pair and tried to have Katusha kicked out.

        • Larry Theobald

          I was going to call Cookson “Pat McQuaid Jr.” but I think you’re right – he’s even worse! If SKY’s reputation needs to be reinstated it would seem up to them to do it rather than a guy voted out of UCI’s top spot after one term…and the guy in-charge at UK Cycling when plenty of dodgy stuff seemed to happen.

  • jules

    “the UCI will write to the UCI to seek a more detailed explanation of their statement.”

    this is the brand of governance that we have come to know and love from the UCI. no more external interference, if you want something sorted out in your favour, investigate yourself :))

    also Cookson is clearly compromised, disappointing statement from him.

    • Shane Stokes

      Sorry, my bad – that was a typo! Fixed now

      • jules

        Obviously a typo sorry always good to have fun with ????

        I lead an exciting life

  • Ram86459

    I’m a little surprised here….from a casual cyclist/cycling fan, how is it that in a sport that still has a cloud over its head from its (hopefully) past days of doping, can someone who just until recently was the head of Cycling’s governing body pass a comment that seems to find no fault for teams to hand-courier medical products across Europe, have the head of that team then fabricate a story why that deliverer was there and and then a team doctor not maintain proper medical records?

    Shouldn’t Cookson be heavily invested in wanting to grow the sport? For a lot of casual fans they’re still looking for a bit of persuading that the sport isn’t rigged (insert zinger about power meters in races here!). That sort of comment seems to show absolutely no awareness of the sport’s history. Maybe cycling is happy not attracting the casual fan to the sport, but even as someone who rides and follows the sport that comment seems “other worldly stupid”.

  • Stian Pollestad

    Great interview with Dan Craven. Seems like a good guy. Will follow him and see how he does next season.

  • Tim Johnson

    I nominate Cosmo Catalano for the role of “Support Commissaire”. They want someone with expertise in reviewing video footage to assist the commissaries. I can’t think of anyone more perfect for the role.

    • Ashok Captain

      I second (and third) that!

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