Former Team Sky rider Josh Edmondson, from Yorkshire, has claimed he broke cycling’s rules on injections and became addicted to the painkiller Tramadol while riding for the British outfit and the team did not reveal it.
Edmondson joined Team Sky in 2013 after a string of impressive performances as an amateur but his two-year deal was not extended and he left at the end of the 2014 season, with both parties saying he could return if his form and fitness recovered.
But the 24-year-old Yorkshireman has now claimed to the BBC that he confessed to the team’s senior management that he had been injecting himself with vitamins several times a week for a month during his difficult 2014 campaign after a team-mate
This contravenes the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) “no needles” policy as injections are only permitted if there is clear medical need, there is no alternative, they are administered by a medical professional, the UCI is informed and records are kept.
Edmondson has told the BBC none of this applies in his case but the team did not report him to the authorities. Sky - who have always maintained a no-needle stance, say there was no cover up after Edmondson was reported to them by a team-mate.
Dr Steve Peters, head of medicine for the team at the time, told the BBC Edmondson had told him he did not use the needles and as such there was no reporting of it.
“He had not done any injection, he said he did not know how to use it. All he said was, ‘I did not know what to do so I left it’,” Peters said.
The doctor added that he feared Edmondson could have been “pushed over the edge” with concerns for his mental health.
Edmondson also claims he became hooked on the controversial painkiller Tramadol during his Team Sky stint - an addiction that led him to experience severe depression.
The drug is not banned but has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s watch list since 2012 and Team Sky themselves have joined wide calls from within cycling for its prohibition, with no suggestion they knew of the rider’s use.