Team Sky are one of the richest and most successful cycling teams in the world, and they’ve billed themselves as a completely clean cycling team—everybody on the team has to sign an agreement that they’ve never been involved in doping—the sort of squad that shows that riders can win without doping. Sky riders have won four of the past five editions of the Tours de France, and they look as strong as any stage racing team has since USPS-era Lance teams. But it increasingly looks like their anti-doping posture is just that, a posture.
Records released last September by Russian military-linked hackers revealed Team Sky’s first Tour de France Winner, Bradley Wiggins, had received a number of undisclosed TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions) for corticosteroids, ostensibly to deal with a pollen allergy. There is also suspicion about the contents of a mystery package an agent of British Cycling flew to Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine. Sky and British Cycling officials initially claimed that the bag was delivered to Emma Pooley, even though she was off in Spain at the time. David Brailsford, the general manager of Team Sky, won’t say what was in the bag.