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Team Sky purchased Fluimucil in Switzerland months before it was couriered from Manchester

Joseph Delves
15 Mar 2017

Dave Brailsford’s explanation of the trip answers some questions, yet raises more

Team Sky have told the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee that Richard Freeman, the squad’s doctor had purchased the medicine Fluimucil abroad in April 2011, adding to questions over why the team chose to instead ferry the drug from Manchester to the Critérium du Dauphiné in June of that year.

With Fluimucil supposedly being the contents of cycling’s most scrutinised Jiffy bag, the team’s answers have raised yet further questions.

Readily available on the continent and costing little, the plausibility that Team Sky would instead choose to send a courier from London to Manchester and then on to the southeast of France via Geneva to deliver the drug has repeatedly been questioned.

Citing illness, Freeman has not appeared before the committee. The evidence came in an exchange of letters between Damian Collins MP, who is chairing the committee, and the Team Sky Principal Sir David Brailsford.

Describing the questions over the need to transport the drug from the UK as arising from ‘a misunderstanding’, Brailsford explained that ‘while Fluimucil is licensed for sale in France, the particular form used by the team (for use in a nebuliser) is not available.

'In addition, since Fluimucil is a prescription medication, Dr Freeman would not have been able to purchase it in France, even if the required form had been available to purchase because – according to Dr Freeman – he does not have prescription rights in France,' Brailsford continued.

'As a result, Team Sky typically ordered Fluimucil from a pharmacy in Munich where Dr Freeman does have prescription rights and where the required form of Fluimucil is licensed for sale.

'Any surplus Fluimucil was then stored in Manchester.’

However, in the same exchange Brailsford mentioned how the team had previously purchased the drug in Switzerland earlier that season.

With the pharmacy in Yverdon where Freeman purchased the drug being less than a three hour drive from the race’s location at the time, his explanation did little to explain why the drug would need to be couriered from Manchester.