A report by the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered “potential wrongdoing” by “individuals” involved in drug testing of British cyclists.
The agency’s independent intelligence and investigation department launched its investigation into Operation Echo in March amid allegations against British Cycling and UK anti-doping for actions taken in preparation for the London Olympics in 2011.
In his executive summary, Wada I & I’s Director Günter Younger said: “Operation Echo at this point confirmed potential misconduct by individuals in both British Cycling and Ukad.
“Following this investigation, a copy of our report was presented to WADA’s Compliance, Rules and Standards department for review.
“We also took note of the summary report from the Union Cycliste Internationale – the umbrella organization under which British Cycling operates – and the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. “Operation Echo” does not make any recommendations for correction, as those involved in the events of 2011 are no longer employed by UKAD and UKAD has already taken safety precautions to avoid a recurrence.
“It is important to acknowledge that WADA I&I received full collaboration and transparency from British Cycling and UKAD during our investigation.”
According to the report, British Cycling employees are investigating the potential contamination of nutritional supplements that have collected samples from elite riders on the basis that Ukad would never know the results, and they are from a non-Wada accredited laboratory, contrary to Wada rules analyzed for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.
Operation Echo also noted that at least one Ukad employee was aware of the situation and that the entity has no record of receiving the analytical results.
However, it found no evidence to support the claim that in 2016 Ukad disclosed individual athletes’ biological passport data to British Cycling or that it allowed two athletes who had advanced a defense against contaminated dietary supplements after negative results to privately test the products in question, and that Ukad had accepted the results at a subsequent anti-doping hearing.
British Cycling said the report did not blame the organization for the role it played in the 2011 study and that the employee who coordinated it with Ukad left the organization a few years ago.
It also referred to changes it has made in its own procedures, including the -pointment of a chief medical officer responsible to the chief executive, the creation of a clinical governance committee, and the introduction of electronic medical records.
A statement said: “These improvements show the standards we adhere to and which British Cycling members and fans of our sport are right to expect of us.
“While Wada did not blame British Cycling, these improvements mean that the 2011 events described in the Wada Review cannot be repeated today at British Cycling, and while there can be no room for complacency, we are proud of the progress that we made. “Our ambition to become a leading global governing body.”
In March, former British Cycling and Team Sky chief medical officer Richard Freeman was finally struck off the medical register after admitting or found guilty 21 of 22 charges related to ordering testosterone to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 had records and improper treatment of non-drivers.
A Wada spokesperson welcomed the results of the report, saying: “The Wada report focuses on 2011 issues and the involvement of a person who is no longer employed by Ukad. We recognize that these matters would not take place today.
“The Wada report makes it clear that the results of the tests carried out by British Cycling were all negative, and points to the negative results of Ukad’s own extensive testing of British cyclists at the time.
“We agree that anti-doping organizations should be subject to the highest standards and will fully consider the content report. However, the Wada did not issue any recommendations for action from Ukad. “