Cycling body responds to Leeds-born Team Sky rider's needle confession

And he claims he confessed to Team Sky bosses who chose not to act.

Josh Edmondson, who moved to Team Sky in 2013 before leaving by mutual consent in 2014, told the BBC he had admitted to team management to injecting himself with a cocktail of legal vitamins.

The team doctor at the time, Steve Peters, was quoted by the BBC on Thursday as saying: "It's not a cover-up".

Team Sky claim they have not broken any rules because there was no evidence that Edmondson had in fact injected himself in 2014, and only if he did would he have broken UCI out of competition rules.

An investigation has been launched by the International Cycling Union's (UCI) anti-doping body into claims that Team Sky covered up a rider's use of banned injections.

That, however, does not tally with an interview given by Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth after Edmondson was released.

He told the BBC he was anxious about his future so he drove from his base in France to Italy to buy vitamins, supplements and syringes.

"I bought butterfly clips, the syringes, the carnitine (a supplement), folic acid, "TAD" (a supplement), damiana compositum, and (vitamin) B12, and I'd just inject that two or three times a week maybe. I'd inject the carnitine more because it was very effective".

The Edmondson admission is the latest to hit the under-pressure team, which has struggled to deal with the Bradley Wiggins TUE and mystery package cases in recent months.

The team said it was a legal decongestant. Sky denied any doping violations.

"He had not done any injection, he said he did not know how to use it".

Team Sky say this was given to him without their knowledge by the race doctor, as oppose to their own team doctor.

Team Sky told the BBC that they took legal advice.

Team Sky have insisted one reason why their clinical director, Steve Peters, and team management decided against reporting Edmondson was because of concerns for his mental health.

Peters said the team made "a judgement call which was difficult". But Edmondson has said he suffered from severe depression because of an addiction he developed for Tramadol, which many want banned from cycling because there is concern that its hallucinogenic effects can cause crashes in the peloton.

"Given our belief there was no evidence of an anti-doping rule violation having taken place, the decision not to escalate or make public the incident was taken with the team's duty of athlete care in mind". "I did think there was a really big risk this lad would be pushed over the edge", Peters said.

"They'd have had to say publicly a kid was injecting".

The substances were not illegal, but the method broke clear guidelines.

  • Julie Sanders