Report: British cyclist put off doping test to go for ride ahead of 2012 Olympics

Report details an incident involving a British cyclist ahead of the London Olympics.

by Dane Cash

Days after WADA publicized details of an investigation into an independent testing program run by British Cycling in 2011, a report in the Mail on Sunday has detailed an incident involving a rider ahead of the London Olympics that raises further questions about anti-doping efforts and the British elite cycling scene.

According to the Mail on Sunday, in the run-up to the London Olympics, a British athlete was approached by an anti-doping control officer just before the rider was set to go on a training ride. Instead of providing a sample immediately, the athlete went for a ride while agreeing to stay within sight of the anti-doping official. Before long, however, the athlete reportedly went out of sight on rural roads.

After an hourlong ride, the athlete provided the requested sample.

The report did not name the athlete involved.

According to the Mail on Sunday, an unnamed former anti-doping official called the circumstances “truly troubling,” and said that the incident should have been documented. Further details of what happened are unknown and the UK Anti-Doping Agency reportedly said that “test paperwork from 2012 was subject to a retention period of 18 months.”

The report came less than a week after WADA said that it had found that British Cycling had violated regulations by engaging in its own drug-testing program in 2012. A WADA investigation known as Operation Echo looked into allegations that British Cycling had tested samples from elite riders for nandrolone “as part of a study into potential contamination of supplements,” according to the WADA statement. “Contrary to the rules laid down by the World Anti-Doping Code and the relevant International Standard, the samples were collected by British Cycling staff rather than doping control officers, analyzed by a non-WADA-accredited laboratory, and provided by the athletes on the basis that UKAD would never know the results.”

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