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Call made to ground GB cycling doctor

AAP logoAAP 8/10/2016 Matt McGeehan

The Great Britain cycling team doctor will miss the UCI Road World Championships, as racing continues amid the UK Anti-Doping investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport.

British Cycling on Saturday said doctor Richard Freeman would not accompany the team to Qatar for the event, which begins on Sunday and concludes on October 16.

"This was a decision taken with the best interests of Richard and the riders," British Cycling programs director Andy Harrison said.

The news came a day after UKAD investigators met with British Cycling at the home of the national governing body, which it shares with Team Sky.

Two UKAD officials on Friday travelled to the National Cycling Centre, which houses the Manchester Velodrome, known as the 'Medal Factory' as the home of Britain's most successful Olympic sport.

UKAD would not comment further to "protect the integrity of the investigation" and would not disclose whether the meeting was pre-arranged or the result of an unannounced visit.

British Cycling and Team Sky are cooperating with UKAD's investigation; on Thursday evening it was one solitary claim being investigated but now there is more than one.

Team Sky, launched with a zero tolerance policy to doping in 2010, "strongly refute" an allegation of "wrongdoing" and say they had asked British Cycling to contact UKAD.

Press Association Sport understands the UKAD investigation did not originate from a source within Team Sky or British Cycling, which have been intertwined since the road team was established for their first season in 2010.

The initial UKAD announcement came as the Daily Mail reported the anti-doping authority is investigating Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins over the contents of a medical package, allegedly delivered to Team Sky in France at the conclusion of the Dauphine Libere stage race on June 12, 2011.

The newspaper reported that UKAD is looking at what that contained.

Freeman was Team Sky doctor at the time. He was also the doctor who initiated Wiggins' application for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone - a substance which has a history of abuse in cycling - on the eve of the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and 2013 Giro d'Italia.

British Cycling said in a statement on Saturday: "British Cycling can confirm that Dr Freeman will not travel with the Great Britain cycling team to the UCI Road World Championships.

"This was a decision jointly reached by the team management and Richard. The riders in Doha will instead be supported by the UCI medical team at the worlds, alongside the usual GBCT (Great Britain cycling team) support staff."

PA Sport understands that Wiggins and his representatives have received no notification from UKAD and believe the 36-year-old is not a subject of the investigation.

Five-time Olympic champion Wiggins, Britain's first Tour de France winner in 2012, said in a statement to Press Association Sport on Saturday: "I welcome this investigation."

Wiggins and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, the British Cycling performance director until April 2014, have strenuously denied any wrongdoing since it emerged the five-time Olympic champion has received six TUEs during his career, insisting each time the exemptions were medically necessary due to asthma and pollen allergies.

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