Doping in sport: Ukad issues medical record warning for UK sports

Sir Bradley Wiggins is Britain's most decorated Olympian but poor medical record keeping has meant investigators cannot answer questions about medication he was administered in 2011.
Sir Bradley Wiggins is Britain's most decorated Olympian but poor medical record keeping has meant investigators cannot answer questions about medication he was administered in 2011

Sporting bodies have been urged to get their medical records in order by head of UK Anti-Doping Nicole Sapstead.

She spoke out after poor record keeping by a former doctor led to questions being asked of cycling outfit Team Sky's anti-doping credentials.

Meanwhile, UK Athletics staff may not have properly recorded an infusion of a controversial supplement for Mo Farah.

"I hope, if nothing else, this serves as a warning to every single sports governing body," said Sapstead.

"If I were them, I'd be doing a massive audit of my medical records," she added.

Team Sky were criticised by MPs after a select committee hearing into doping in sport was told medical records were not handled in the correct way by former team doctor Richard Freeman.

It meant there was no surviving record of what had been administered to British rider Sir Bradley Wiggins - a five-time Olympic gold medallist and the first Briton to win the Tour de France - when the doctor's laptap was later stolen.

It has been alleged Wiggins was given a corticosteroid at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, possibly in breach of anti-doping rules. That is a claim vehemently denied by Team Sky and Wiggins.

However, the team has been unable to provide records to Ukad investigators to back up the claim Wiggins was given a legal decongestant.

Similarly, the BBC has learned that the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada), Ukad's counterpart in the United States, has not been able to establish beyond doubt what infusion levels were given to Britain's 5,000m and 10,000m double Olympic champion Farah at a training camp in 2014.

It is understood UK Athletics staff may not have recorded all data properly, hindering queries by Usada.

The US agency is investigating doping and unethical practices claims made against Farah's coach Alberto Salazar in a 2015 BBC Panorama documentary.

Salazar strongly denies the claims, while there is no suggestion Farah has done anything wrong.

Sapstead, who was speaking at a Tackling Doping In Sport conference, said it was "vitally important" for sports governing bodies to keep up-to-date medical records for their athletes.

"This enables national anti-doping organisations to do their role effectively and it protects your organisation and your athletes," she said.

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead
UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead recently gave evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing into doping in sport.

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