Sir Dave Brailsford’s future as Team Sky principal has been questioned by International Cycling Union president David Lappartient following the findings of a parliamentary report into the British team’s activities.
Lappartient wants world cycling body’s independent integrity division to investigate Team Sky after they were accused of “crossing an ethical line”.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee claimed that Team Sky and their former star rider Sir Bradley Wiggins had used a banned drug not for medical purposes but to enhance performance.
Lappartient stopped short of saying Brailsford should resign his position, but he said: “I think he has to take the best decision for cycling in Great Britain.
“He created this team, he brought this team at the highest level and everybody was happy to support this.
“But it seems they have created these wrongdoings so I really think that the issue for him is to think about the future of his team – of all the employees, all the riders.”
Describing the findings of the British MPs’ report as “unacceptable”, Lappartient told the BBC: “If you are using substances to increase your performances, I think this is exactly what is cheating.
“When you can see that substances were used not for health problems, or with tramadol with strong pain – but to increase your performances then, yes, that’s something unacceptable for me and the philosophy we have.
“Even if it seems that there is no breach of the anti-doping rules, no violation of the anti-doping rules.”
Lappartient said the DCMS committee’s findings could affect “the global credibility of the sport”, although Team Sky and Wiggins – the winner of the 2012 Tour de France and a five-time Olympic champion – have strongly denied the report’s claims.
They have said any medication they have used has been for legitimate reasons and within UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency rules, and Team Sky responded to Lappartient’s remarks by saying they were “happy to co-operate with any investigation by the UCI and we would welcome further scrutiny of the select committee’s report”.
A team 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.”
Team Sky’s present leader Chris Froome, a four-time Tour champion, is also currently under a doping cloud.
He returned an adverse finding for the asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta a Espana in September and is currently locked in a legal and scientific wrangle with the UCI’s independent anti-doping unit, CADF, about how that happened.
The case has already dragged on for nearly six months and Froome continues to compete, currently doing so at the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy while he intends to ride May’s Giro d’Italia and this summer’s Tour de France.
Lappartient, however, said it would be “a disaster for the image of cycling” if Froome rode the sport’s biggest race without his salbutamol case being resolved.
Froome refuted the DCMS findings earlier this week, while Wiggins has claimed he is the victim of a “malicious” attempt to “smear” his reputation after denying he had ever cheated during his career.