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Leadership team not interviewed during investigation into ‘potential wrongdoing in British Cycling and Ukad’

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UK Anti-Doping failed to interview its former leadership team during an investigation into “potential wrongdoing by individuals in both British Cycling and Ukad” in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

On Tuesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency heavily criticized a Ukad-led probe – codenamed Operation Blackout – into allegations the national anti-doping organization and British Cycling had concealed the use of banned drugs.

That followed a Wada investigation – codenamed Operation Echo – into the same claims, which found Ukad had failed to search laptops for “relevant emails” cited in a pair of anonymous letters that triggered the latter’s 2018 inquiry.

The Telegraph can disclose Ukad also did not interview Andy Parkinson, its founding chief executive who left in 2014, or Graham Arthur, its founding legal director. He retired in 2017, during its investigation.

It can be revealed that Wada did speak to both men during its inquiry, which was launched in March, but they were unable to recall, a decade on, the exact events under investigation.

Ukad’s failure to contact Parkinson and Arthur – the latter of whom, emails suggest, was central to those events – was criticized on Wednesday night by former staff at the agency.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one acknowledged it had been “a terrible mistake”. At the same time, another said: “The absence of any contact with senior executive people who were in the organization at the time is odd. I can’t think of a good reason not to do that.”

Ukad declined to comment after announcing it was “commissioning an independent external review of its 2018 Operation Blackout”.

Nicole Sapstead, who succeeded Parkinson as chief executive and left earlier this year to join the International Tennis Integrity Agency, declined to respond to questions from The Telegraph.

The Wada probe found no evidence that anyone at Ukad concealed doping, and there is no suggestion anyone to have worked there has ever done so. The letters Ukad received in 2018 claimed it had allowed British Cycling to collect samples from elite riders and screen them for the androgen and anabolic steroid nandrolone.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, Wada said that Operation Echo had established wrongdoing. “Contrary to the rules laid down by the World Anti-Doping Code and the relevant International Standard, the samples were collected by British Cycling staff rather than doping control officers, analyzed by a non-Wada-accredited laboratory, and provided by the athletes on the basis that Ukad would never know the results,” it wrote. “‘Operation Echo’ also established that at least one Ukad employee was aware of the study and that the samples could be collected and analyzed at a non-Wada-accredited laboratory.

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Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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