Sky: a story of triumphs flavored with doubts

Cycling team doctor confirmed that he used intravenous recovery injections

Sky: una historia de triunfos con sabor a dudas

In recent years, the Sky cycling team has remained at the top of the sport. With the performances of the British Christopher Froome and Bradley Wiggins, the team has achieved five of the last six Tour de France, the highest road-cycling race. In addition, the team has had outstanding performances in the Vuelta a España.

However, these titles have been accompanied by a series of doubts ranging from alleged bicycles with engines, to an anti-doping test of Christopher Froome. The cyclist tested positive in Salbutamol in the last Vuelta a España. Salbutamol is a substance that alleviates respiratory problems, but in high doses, it increases muscle mass and reduces fat.

In the latter case, Froome defended himself explaining that "my asthma worsened during the Vuelta, so I followed the advice of the team doctor to increase my doses of salbutamol (…) As always, I took the greatest precautions to try not to overcome the allowed dose”.

The performances of the cyclist born in Nairobi, Kenya, but nationalized British borderline in the inhuman. His ability to pedal on descents and his physical capacity have made him practically indestructible. For this reason, doubts have always accompanied his great performances.

Intramuscular recovery injections case

The recent statements of the Italian doctor Fabio Bartalucci, who worked for the Sky, increase the doubt about the team. According to the doctor, during 2011 – the year in which Froome took second place in the Vuelta a España – he implemented a program of intravenous recovery injections.

The statements published by the British magazine Cyclingnews agree with complaints made at that time by an anonymous informant, who claimed that the team recovered in this way.

According to Bartalucci "recovery is not doping, substances are not prohibited and, as the name says, help recover the athlete." The doctor defended that these procedures are ethically acceptable "when it is necessary to take care of the health (of the cyclists) and avoid that they fall IGNORE INTO the temptation of doping".

Sky has never accepted or denied the use of intravenous recovery products when the informant accused them. However, they have always defended themselves by explaining that they have never broken the rules of the International Cycling Union or the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The doctor worked from late 2010 to mid-2012 on the British Sky Broadcasting team.

Since 2009, WADA has added intravenous injections of more than 100 ml total every 12 hours IGNORE INTO its list of prohibited methods. The use of these procedures can only be done with prior authorization from the Agency, unless it is necessary in emergencies or in surgical interventions.

For the year 2011, the same agency said that "all glucocorticosteroids that are administered orally, intravenously, intramuscularly or rectally are forbidden".

Since the world-famous doping scandal of multi-champion Lance Armstrong, the International Cycling Union has tried to diminish the doping possibilities of all its athletes. The agency has invested large amounts of money to track all its runners and banish the shadow of doping that accompanies this sport.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Translated from “Sky: una historia de triunfos con sabor a dudas”

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