The International Cycling Union’s (UCI) anti-doping division has contacted the British authorities to “assess” former Team Sky rider Josh Edmondson’s claim the British outfit covered up his breach of cycling rules on injections.
In an interview with the BBC, Edmondson, of Leeds, said he confessed to the team’s senior management that he had been injecting himself with vitamins and legal supplements several times a week for a month in 2014.
This would contravene the UCI’s “no needles” policy, which states injections are only allowed if there is clear medical need, there is no alternative, they are administered by a medical professional, the UCI is informed, and records are kept.
A UCI statement said: “The Union Cycliste Internationale has seen the BBC report. The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, the independent entity in charge of the anti-doping programme and investigations for the UCI, is in touch with UK Anti-Doping to assess the matter. No further comments will be provided at this stage.”
While Edmondson is unlikely to have committed an anti-doping rule violation – the World Anti-Doping Agency only bans infusions or injections of more than 50ml every six hours – he told the BBC none of the UCI’s reasons to permit an injection apply in his case, but the team did not report him.
Team Sky, however, reject his claim that he confessed to self-injecting, saying the 24-year-old Yorkshireman was caught with the substances and syringes at a race in Poland by another rider, who informed the team’s management.
When confronted by Team Sky clinical director Dr Steve Peters, Edmondson denied injecting himself, as he did not know how to do it.
Edmondson is adamant he did confess to injecting himself with a cocktail of substances, which he bought without the team’s knowledge in Italy, in order to “close the gap a little without doping”.
He also told the BBC in great detail about the products he used and the care he took when injecting himself, while Dr Peters admitted to the broadcaster that one of the vials they found was opened but said “it’s not a cover-up”.
The governing body’s ban on injections was introduced in May 2011 after some teams lobbied the UCI to take a more aggressive stance against doping.
A sanction for a first-time offence, that does not involve banned drugs, would range from a suspension of eight days to six months, with a possible fine from £800 to £80,000.