David Lappartient hopes the CADF will investigate Team Sky ©Getty Images

International Cycling Union (UCI) President David Lappartient would like to see the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) open an investigation into the ongoing controversy surrounding Team Sky.

The Frenchman's assertion came after a report from the British Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee, which saw MPs criticise the conduct of British Cycling and Team Sky, and the way in which they have responded to investigations on the ongoing saga.

It was concluded that therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) were used by Team Sky to take the corticosteroid triamcinolone, in an effort to prepare them for the 2012 Tour de France, won by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

TUEs allow the use of otherwise banned substances to treat medical conditions but the report said an "ethical line" had been crossed. 

The allegations were dismissed by Sir Bradley, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, as well as Team Sky.

Lappartient stated that he trusted the MPs' report and expressed his hope the CADF - the organisation's independent integrity division - would open an investigation.

"The CADF have the power of investigation, not the UCI," Lappartient told the BBC.

"I am sure they will investigate about this, probably by asking the key stakeholders to come and give explanations.

"I cannot order them to do this, but I would like them to do this.

"I would like to see them investigate and see if there was a violation of anti-doping rules.

"It seems not to be the case and it is mentioned in the report, because at the time they had the TUEs and the agreement of the institution."

Team Sky have stated they would cooperate with any investigation ©Getty Images
Team Sky have stated they would cooperate with any investigation ©Getty Images

A key part of the report stated that the Committee "received confidential material from a well-placed and respected source" about Team Sky's medical policy between 2011 and 2013.

"This states, with particular reference to Team Sky's preparations for the 2012 season, that Bradley Wiggins and a smaller group of riders trained separately from the rest of the team," the report reads.

"The source said they were all using corticosteroids out of competition to lean down in preparation for the major races that season."

Team Sky and Sir Bradley had rejected these claims, with the latter claiming the one anonymous source in the report was attempting to smear him.

Lappartient, however, suggested that despite the report suggesting there was no breach of the rules, it could be considered "cheating".

"When you can see in the report that substances were used for health problems or tramadol with strong pain, but to increase performance, then that is something that is unacceptable to me," he said.

"Even if it seems there is no breach of the rules, no violation of the rules.

"If you are using substances to increase your performances, then I think this is cheating."

Team Sky have stated they would co-operate with any investigation and that they strongly deny the allegations made in the MPs' report.

"Team Sky is happy to co-operate with any investigation by the UCI and we would welcome further scrutiny of the Select Committee's report," a statement said.

"While we have acknowledged past failings, we strongly deny the very serious new allegations about the use of medication to enhance performance, as does Bradley Wiggins.

"Furthermore, we are concerned that the Committee presented these unsubstantiated allegations without providing evidence to support them, which is fundamentally unfair to the Team and its riders.

"We welcome any review by the UCI which can help establish the nature of the evidence relied on by the Committee in coming to its conclusions."

The UCI President's comments have increased the pressure on Team Sky principal Sir David Brailsford ©Getty Images
The UCI President's comments have increased the pressure on Team Sky principal Sir David Brailsford ©Getty Images

The MPs' report has recommended that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) introduce a "complete ban" on the use of corticosteroids and the painkiller tramadol, as well as the consideration of greater reforms to the TUE system.

In his campaign for the UCI Presidency, Lappartient also called on corticosteroids and tramadol to be banned, along with pledging to introduce mandatory medical monitoring, independent of teams.

The Frenchman has reiterated his call for the substances to be banned, while he admitted that the governing body had concerns about the TUE system.

The UCI said they had strengthened their rules surrounding TUEs in 2014, however. 

Their exisiting TUE Committee is composed of multiple independent experts in the fields of clinical, sports and exercise medicine, and a TUE can only be granted if there is unanimity amongst the three members.

UCI statistics have shown a drop in the number of TUEs granted in recent years.

A total of 239 were granted in 2009, which was reduced to 97 and 55 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

The total dropped again for the next three years, with 46 granted in 2012, before 31 in 2013 and 25 in 2014.

The lowest number granted in recent years was 13 in 2015, before rising slightly to 15 in 2016.

In 2017, a total of 20 TUEs were granted by the governing body.

David Lappartient has claimed it would be a disaster for cycling if Chris Froome rode the Tour de France without his case being resolved ©Getty Images
David Lappartient has claimed it would be a disaster for cycling if Chris Froome rode the Tour de France without his case being resolved ©Getty Images

Lappartient also claimed it would be a "disaster for the sport" if four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome participated in the Grand Tour later this year amid his ongoing salbutamol case.

The Briton returned an adverse drug test result during his Vuelta a España victory in September and now has to prove to the UCI how double the allowed level of the legal asthma drug appeared in his urine.

A mandatory suspension does not apply in this case, allowing Froome to continue riding.

While Froome denies wrongdoing, Lappartient has expressed his view that he should suspend himself during the case.

"We need to have a decision as soon as possible for Chris Froome himself, for his team, for us, for cycling," he told the BBC.

"Of course we have to respect the rights of Chris Froome to defend what he thinks and what he believes with experts.

"So that's why it's taking some time.

"But for the image of our sport that [riding the Tour de France] could be a disaster and I don't want to put our sport into trouble.

"So even for him to be more concentrated on defending his own case, from my point of view it would have been better for him not to ride."