Emma Pooley competing in the women’s individual time trial at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters
Emma Pooley says it was “at best silly and careless” of Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford to guess at her whereabouts when questioned over a medical package.
The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that UK Anti-Doping was investigating Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins over the contents of a package allegedly delivered by British Cycling’s women’s team manager Simon Cope to Team Sky at the conclusion of the Dauphiné Libéré stage race in France on June 12, 2011.
Ukad has only said that it is investigating “allegations of wrongdoing within cycling” and two of its investigators met with British Cycling staff at the Manchester Velodrome on Friday.
Brailsford had reportedly been asked to explain by the Daily Mail why Cope was in France on June 12, 2011 and the newspaper reported that Brailsford said Cope was there to see Pooley. But she was actually racing in the Basque Country in Spain on that date, finishing fourth in the Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira stage race.
Pooley told cyclingnews.com: “The only thing I know is where I was on June 12 and I absolutely was not meeting anyone from British Cycling, anywhere. Certainly not Simon Cope at La Toussuire.
“When you’re being questioned about something as important as this you shouldn’t just come out with guesses and if it is an honest mistake then he (Brailsford) should be checking his facts. It doesn’t matter to me, it just looks bad for them. It’s at best silly and careless.”
Team Sky welcomed the Ukad investigation and is “confident there has been no wrongdoing”, while it is understood that Wiggins and his representatives have received no notification from Ukad and believe the 36-year-old is not a subject of the investigation. Both Team Sky and British Cycling say they are co-operating with the investigation.
It is also understood that Team Sky and Brailsford have tried to ascertain the events of June 2011, gathering written statements from staff present at the time and documentation to piece together the events.
The evidence was for British Cycling and Ukad, which is investigating more than one allegation of “wrongdoing”; on Thursday there was one solitary claim. UKAD did not go into any detail about the allegations and mentioned no names.
The logistics surrounding a cycling team are complex and packages are regularly transported. Determining the contents of the specific package will be central to the investigation, which could take some time. The whereabouts of individuals will be important, too.
Pooley added: “Maybe it was an honest mistake. It’s clearly quite a serious issue because it’s about the perception of cycling, and anti-doping. I’m the kind of person who keeps records of everything. I was at a stage race in Spain losing the yellow jersey on a descent in the rain. I can distinctly remember it because it was a bit of a disaster. I looked up my old training diary to see if I’d forgotten or anything and I’ve still got the flight numbers from how I got home.”
UkaD would not comment on what was discussed when its investigators met British Cycling representatives on Friday in order to “protect the integrity of the investigation” and would not disclose whether the meeting was pre-arranged or the result of an unannounced visit PA