The latest report into the allegations that Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins used various dopants to win bicycle races rather fails to make the point being taken from it. The point being taken is that they’re all cheating bastards – presumably because the team has the word “Sky” in it and who knows with the Murdochs, right? The actual finding being that all and every rule, to the jot and tittle, was obeyed and medical drugs were used, within those rules, as medical drugs.
You know, bloke says he took aspirin, here’s the doctor’s note saying he can take aspirin, here’s the rule saying bloke can take aspirin if he’s a doctor’s note and……well, and what then?
An explosive report has suggested Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins used performance-enhancing drugs under the guise of treating a legitimate medical condition in order to win the 2012 Tour de France.
The long-awaited report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee is a potential death knell for Team Sky. It calls into question exactly how they became one of the most successful outfits in British sporting history and draws a number of damaging conclusions.
Well, yes, that is the allegation. So, what’s the finding?
It was already known, courtesy of the Russian hackers Fancy Bears, that Wiggins was given injections of triamcinolone before he competed in three of cycling’s grand tours. But the suggestion that the abuse of that drug was possibly widespread in the team is grave. Most damagingly they say the team, led by Dave Brailsford, obtained therapeutic use exemption forms – effectively a doctor’s note – to allow triamcinolone to be used.
Ah, yes. So, the drug may not be used without permission. Permission was granted – the drug could be used. This is damning evidence? That they obeyed the rules?
There is of course the point that this is a select committee of the House of Commons looking at this. You know, one that, at least as far as we know, has neither jurisdiction over this issue nor even any particular knowledge. But then when we look at other reports that come from similar sources how much weight are we going to place upon them? All should recall Frank Field and friends moaning on about the BHS pensions deficit without once managing to mention the effects of QE for example.
So, the story as it actually is. Bloke needs permission to take drug. Bloke gets permission to take drug. MPs outraged.