William Fotheringham

Author's details

Name: William Fotheringham
Date registered: October 13, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/cycling

Latest posts

  1. Sky must join anti-doping group to silence doubters, says president — March 21, 2017
  2. Team Sky sourced Fluimucil in Switzerland before Wiggins delivery — March 14, 2017
  3. Joanna Rowsell Shand’s retirement leaves void in GB medal factory — March 14, 2017
  4. Team Sky back Dave Brailsford amid suggestions of growing rider unrest — March 6, 2017
  5. Cycling drug inquiry will switch focus to painkiller tramadol — March 5, 2017

Author's posts listings

Mar 21

Sky must join anti-doping group to silence doubters, says president

• MPCC head Roger Legeay urges Sky to join to improve team’s credibility
• ‘Our rules are very strict but that is a price you pay for having a good image’

Team Sky and British Cycling must join the sport’s voluntary anti-doping group to have any chance of restoring their credibility, according to the president of the Movement for Credible Cycling.

Almost two-thirds of teams in pro cycling’s top two divisions are members, which has strict rules on the use of cortisone and tramadol, the substances at the heart of controversy over governance within the two British bodies.

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing | William Fotheringham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/21/team-sky-cyling-anti-doping-group-silence-doubters-credibility

Mar 14

Team Sky sourced Fluimucil in Switzerland before Wiggins delivery

• Dr Freeman’s prescription rights permitted the purchase
• Sky tell Commons they obtained drug abroad in April 2011

In a written answer to the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, Team Sky have revealed their doctor bought the decongestant Fluimucil at a pharmacy in Switzerland, raising further questions about why the medicine would have needed to be flown from Manchester to be administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins after the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Sky stated their then doctor, Richard Freeman, had bought Fluimucil in April 2011 in the Swiss town of Yverdon, because he had prescription rights in Switzerland. The courier, Simon Cope, brought the padded bag that Sky have stated contained Fluimucil from Manchester, where he had collected it a couple of days earlier, to the final stage of the Dauphiné at La Toussuire on 12 June. The Alpine resort is within driving distance of Switzerland like other stage venues in that year’s Dauphiné.

Related: Bradley Wiggins doctor will not attend select committee hearing

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/team-sky-fluimucil-switzerland-bradley-wiggins-commons

Mar 14

Joanna Rowsell Shand’s retirement leaves void in GB medal factory

• Double Olympic cycling champion calls it a day aged 28
• Team pursuiter began in 2004 and became mainstay of squad

In normal times the retirement of Joanna Rowsell Shand, the mainstay of the Great Britain women’s team pursuit squad for nine seasons, would no more than raise an eyebrow. But in the middle of a crisis at British Cycling, and coming as it does after Laura Trott’s announcement she has taken a break in order to have a baby, Rowsell Shand’s departure simply heightens the sense the “medal factory” is in a state of flux far beyond what would be expected in most post-Olympic years.

Rowsell Shand was full in her praise for the Olympic cycling system in her retirement statement on Tuesday . “I want to thank the amazing team at British Cycling; from the world‑class team behind the team who work tirelessly to ensure we have the best preparation for events, to the very first youth coaches who talent‑spotted me back when I was 15. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Related: Joanna Rowsell Shand: ‘At Rio Olympics we’ll be chasers, which is exciting but also scary’

Related: Joanna Rowsell: I don’t want alopecia to define me

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/joanna-rowsell-shand-retirement-cycling-gb-medal-factory

Mar 06

Team Sky back Dave Brailsford amid suggestions of growing rider unrest

• Team member says colleagues have begun wondering if principal should go
• Nicolas Portal, Sky’s directeur sportif, says: ‘I back Dave 100 per cent’

Team Sky closed ranks behind Sir Dave Brailsford on Monday night after reports that their riders had discussed the team principal’s position after months of revelations prompted by the Ukad inquiry into allegations of possible wrongdoing at Sky and its partner British Cycling. Both organisations have stated their faith in the probity of their personnel and that they have cooperated in full with the inquiry.

“There is a concern over the impact that this may have on the season and the distraction it is all causing for Dave Brailsford and the other management,” a Team Sky rider told the website cyclingnews.com. The source also told the website some riders had begun discussing whether Brailsford should remain in post. The rider spoke on a basis of anonymity, adding: “With a team that is so focused on details, things are starting to slip through the cracks because people’s attentions are elsewhere. No one in the team, currently, is involved in this controversy other than Dave. What’s it going to take for the team to get on with racing?”

Related: Team Sky doctor was allegedly sent banned testosterone patches

Related: Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/06/team-sky-dave-brailsford

Mar 05

Cycling drug inquiry will switch focus to painkiller tramadol

Questions for Team Sky and British Cycling as the substance, which can enhance performance, is likely to draw the attention of the MPs committee

While the focus last week was on the corticosteroid triamcinolone, the legal painkiller tramadol is likely to draw the attention of the group of MPs looking into doping in sport, the Guardian has learned. “There are a number of lines of inquiry that remain open and tramadol is one of them,” said Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee. “Given the amount of evidence we had last week we want to take stock and see if there are further questions.”

Related: Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/cycling-drug-inquiry-will-switch-focus-to-painkiller-tramadol

Mar 05

Team Sky doctor was allegedly sent banned testosterone patches

Dr Richard Freeman, at the centre of UK anti-doping inquiry, told investigators substance was not intended for any riders

The drugs furore surrounding British Cycling and Team Sky has entered new territory with claims that UK anti-doping investigators uncovered evidence that testosterone patches were delivered in 2011 to Dr Richard Freeman, the doctor at the heart of Ukad’s inquiry into allegations of wrongdoing at the two organisations.

Using testosterone is banned at all times under the world anti-doping code. Freeman was contacted by the Guardian but did not comment.

Related: The Observer view on doping in cycling | Observer editorial

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/team-sky-doctor-richard-freeman-was-allegedly-sent-banned-testosterone-patches-doping

Mar 05

Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

Principal owes it to the riders and staff to deal with public questioning before he falls on his sword

Stay or go: the Clash standard, the Levi’s ad, one of the oldest dilemmas in life and sport. When does a situation become sufficiently untenable that to remain in post is counterproductive? When to leave and how to do it so that one’s departure does as little damage as possible?

I imagine – I would hope – that Sir Dave Brailsford is thinking along those lines at present, reflecting on his position in the wake of Wednesday’s horror show in a House of Commons committee room, pondering the background and trying to anticipate what the future might hold as UK Anti-Doping continues its inquiry into the putative contents of the most infamous Jiffy bag in British sport.

Related: British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/team-sky-sir-dave-brailsford

Mar 03

Team Sky rival’s medic says TUE claims of Bradley Wiggins doctor are ‘flimsy’

• Dr Prentice Steffen queries triamcinolone ordered by Richard Freeman
• Second doctor says only four or five doses a year may have been required

An experienced team doctor has said the claims that British Cycling and the former Team Sky medic Richard Freeman needed a large supply of the corticosteroid triamcinolone to treat staff and riders are “flimsy”.

Dr Prentice Steffen of the rival Cannondale-Drapac squad, who has worked in cycling for a quarter of a century, said he could recall using the drug only three times in a 10-year period.

Related: British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

Related: British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/03/cycling-tue-bradley-wiggins-richard-freeman

Mar 02

British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

British Cycling’s reboot was somewhat derailed by the latest revelations in Parliament but its 39-point plan should draw a line under the era between the Athens and Rio Olympics

The press briefing on Thursday morning by the British Cycling chairman, Jonathan Browning, and the UK Sport chief executive, Liz Nicholl, at British Cycling’s headquarters in Manchester should have been all about the governing body’s 39-point plan to revamp its culture and management. This appeared to have been planned as a pre-emptive strike against revelations in the much delayed Phelps report into the culture within the Olympic team prompted by the scandal last spring involving allegations of sexism made by the sprinter Jess Varnish.

The agenda was immediately transformed, however, by the dramatic revelations in parliament on Wednesday around the UK Anti-Doping inquiry into “Jiffy-bag-gate”, the vexed question of the most discussed package in recent cycling history. Browning and Nicholl had to divert from script most likely in the knowledge that any chance of news‑managing the Phelps report had been overtaken by “events”.

Related: British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing | William Fotheringham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-corporate-route-out-of-trouble

Mar 02

British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

• Investigation into the use of triamcinolone by Dr Richard Freeman launched
• Incomplete records and patient confidentiality will not make for simple task

British Cycling has promised to overhaul its relationship with Team Sky and launched an investigation into what happened with the triamcinolone which was ordered by its doctor, as revealed at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing.

The revelations around Team Sky and British Cycling from the Ukad head, Nicole Sapstead, were described as “shocking” and “unacceptable” by the UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl at a press briefing in Manchester with the British Cycling chair Jonathan Browning on Thursday, and there may also be implications for British Cycling’s Lottery funding when settlements are made this month.

Related: Ukad chief’s scathing attack on British Cycling and Team Sky medical records

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-promises-overhaul-relationship-team-sky

Mar 02

British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing

The record-keeping failure exposed in the saga of the Jiffy Bag delivered to Wiggins in 2011 undermines everything Brailsford and co have said about drugs

If 19 December 2016 was the day that Sir Dave Brailsford proved to be an emperor with no clothes, with his admission to the culture, media and sport committee that he had been over-enthusiastic in his explanation for Simon Cope’s trip to the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011, on 1 March 2017 the committee stripped Team Sky and British Cycling of any remaining credibility.

The demolition agent was the lapidary Nicole Sapstead, head of UK Anti-Doping, who told the committee that it was impossible to back up Brailsford’s assertion in December that the package delivered by Cope did indeed contain the decongestant Fluimucil. This was because of a lack of records of what the then Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman had administered to his athletes, and the products that had gone through the British Cycling medicine store in Manchester.

Related: Ukad chief’s scathing attack on British Cycling and Team Sky medical records

Related: British Cycling in line for even more criticism amid accusations of cover-up | Sean Ingle

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-team-sky-dave-brailsford-credibility-tatters

Feb 23

Simon Jones to leave Team Sky for top Australian Cycling role

• Coach will become performance director of Australian body in April
• Jones aims to help Australia compete strongly with Great Britain

The long-standing two-wheeled rivalry between Britain and Australia took another twist on Wednesday with confirmation that Simon Jones, the former British Cycling endurance coach who is now Sky head of performance support and innovation, is to take over as performance director of Australian Cycling from April.

The move scotches speculation that the former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton – understood to have been among the seven candidates for the role – might return to the top job in his homeland. Jones, who had a six-year spell at the Western Australia Institute of sport from 2007 to 2013, is also the first British coach to take on such a senior role at a major cycling nation.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/23/simon-jones-team-sky-australian-cycling

Feb 15

British Women’s Tour organisers excited by prospect of Central London finish

• Riders will do 14 laps of a six-kilometre circuit in Piccadilly
• Five-day event will also include two hilly stages in the Peak District

Since the British Women’s Tour’s inception in 2014, its organisers have not hidden their intention to give their event parity with their flagship men’s event; for this year’s race, they expect to take another major step forward with a central London finish for the closing stage on 11 June, on a circuit based on Regent Street, similar to the one that has successfully hosted the men’s Tour in recent seasons.

“It’s hugely exciting. There is a big social agenda planned around with the help of the mayor’s office, all about getting more women cycling,” said Guy Elliott of the race organiser Sweetspot. As well as the 14 laps of a six-kilometre circuit in Piccadilly, the five-day event will also include two hilly stages in the Peak District and two less demanding stages which will go close to 150km, the International Cycling Union’s new permitted maximum distance for stages in women’s events.

Related: Women’s Tour of Britain continues to bridge equality gap in road cycling

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/15/cycling-british-womens-tour

Jan 15

Ferdi Kübler obituary

Swiss cyclist who was one of the great postwar champions of his sport and won the Tour de France in 1950

The Swiss cyclist Ferdi Kübler, who has died aged 97, was the oldest living victor of the Tour de France, which he won in 1950, and the last survivor of a group of champions who dominated cycling’s golden age immediately after the second world war, men such as Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Louison Bobet, Rik Van Steenbergen and Hugo Koblet. It was estimated that Kübler had pedalled 700,000km by the end of his 19-year career.

Variously nicknamed “the horse”, for his relatively tall stature, “the pedalling madman” – because of his habit of talking to himself as he rode along – or “the cowboy”, due to his penchant for stetson hats, Kübler’s best years were 1950 and 1951, when he took the world title and the “Ardennes weekend” of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classics, then run on a Saturday and Sunday. He repeated this double in 1952.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/15/ferdi-kubler-obituary

Jan 09

Bradley Wiggins joins new management agency for post-cycling career

• Newly retired cyclist becomes client of M&C Saatchi Merlin
• TUE and ‘Jiffy-bag’ controversies have dented his reputation

Sir Bradley Wiggins has acquired new management at the M&C Saatchi Merlin agency as he attempts to reconfigure his image following the controversy last September over therapeutic use exemptions and with a UK Anti-Doping inquiry still to report on the delivery of a medical package to Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Wiggins’s low-key confirmation on 28 December that his racing days were finally over would appear to be linked to the move, so too his recent decision to participate in the skiing reality TV show The Jump, going full circle on his previous assertions that he was determined to eschew celebrity sporting culture after hanging up his wheels.

Related: Bradley Wiggins in The Jump? Let’s cut him a bit of celebrity slack | Tim Lewis

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/09/bradley-wiggins-management-agency-saatchi-merlin

Jan 07

Damian Collins wants more information on Fluimucil from Team Sky

• Damian Collins MP: ‘Team Sky need to set out how they used Fluimucil’
• Culture, media and sport committee also wants to hear from British Cycling

Damian Collins MP, the head of the House of Commons culture media and sport committee, has called upon Team Sky to give more detailed information about their use of the antioxidant and mucolytic Fluimucil, the substance that is said to have been in the package delivered to the team’s then doctor Richard Freeman at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011.

Following a Guardian investigation last week into the uses of Fluimucil, which showed it had been used by injection to aid recovery in the period before the UCI banned the use of needles in cycling in May 2011, Collins told the Observer: “Team Sky need to set out how they used Fluimucil, how often and for what purposes. British Cycling should also be in a position to state whether this was a drug they routinely kept in their stores and was it regularly supplied to Team Sky.”

Related: How a 2014 Chris Froome interview prompted fresh questions for Team Sky over Fluimucil use

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/07/damian-collins-information-team-sky-fluimucil

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