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U.K. Anti-Doping agency probes alleged wrongdoing in cycling

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LONDON — Britain’s anti-doping agency is investigating allegations of wrongdoing in cycling in response to a report about the activities of Team Sky and former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper said U.K. Anti-Doping is investigating Wiggins and Team Sky over the contents of a medical package delivered to the team in France in June 2011. The report did not say what was in the package.

“We are investigating an allegation of wrongdoing in cycling,” UKAD said Friday. “To protect the integrity of the investigation we will not comment further.”

Wiggins won the Dauphine Libere cycling race on the day the package was delivered in June 2011, according to the Mail. There was no immediate response from Team Sky or Wiggins, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 after winning the Tour de France the previous year.

There has been scrutiny on Britain’s eight-time Olympic medalist’s medical treatment since his confidential medical information last month was in one of the leaks resulting from a cyberattack on the World Anti-Doping Agency database. Wiggins was given three injections of an anti-inflammatory drug between 2011 and 2013 after being granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption, which allows athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need.

Wiggins has defended his need for a TUE, saying he wasn’t attempting to gain an advantage.

Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France in 2012 as part of Team Sky. He took the anti-inflammatory drug on the eve of that Tour, the 2011 Tour which took place after the Dauphine Libere race, and also before the 2013 Giro d’Italia. Wiggins’ treatment was approved by cycling authorities and there has been no suggestion any rules have been broken over the TUEs.

World champ Peter Sagan to race in Tour Down Under

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia has confirmed he will compete in the Tour Down Under in January, the opening World Tour event of the season.

Sagan won the world title last month for the third straight year, becoming the first cyclist to do so. He competed in the Tour Down Under for the first time last year, finishing second on three stages behind Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.

Sagan, who rides for the BORA-hansgrohe team, said the six-stage Tour Down Under is “the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year … a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.”

Former Olympic cycling champ fired after positive drug test

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Former Olympic road cycling champion Samuel Sanchez, who returned a positive doping test in August, had his B-sample confirmed Wednesday and was promptly fired by the BMC Racing Team.

Sanchez’s out-of-competition test revealed growth hormone-releasing peptide 2, or GHRP-2, a drug that increases a body’s level of growth hormone. Several cyclists have tested positive for the drug, among them Italian rider Stefano Pirazzi, who was given a four-year ban earlier this week.

The U.S.-based BMC Team said in a statement Wednesday that it was adhering to its zero-tolerance policy toward doping by terminating the Spaniard’s contract “with immediate effect.”

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who had been provisionally suspended, won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.