Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Wiggins says 'malicious' doping report smears his reputation

Wiggins says 'malicious' doping report smears his reputation

Sports science professor John Brewer spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer after the Commons Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee said it believes Wiggins took steroids to boost his performance during his historic Tour de France win.

A British parliamentary committee said in a doping investigation report, published on Monday, that evidence showed Team Sky sought a therapeutic use exemption for Wiggins to take triamcinolone "not to treat medical need but to improve his power to weight ratio".

"We believe this powerful corticosteroid was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the Tour de France", it said. The public should have trust in their sportspeople and have confidence that they are watching them compete on a level playing field.

The report outlined the potential performance enhancement properties of the substance.

"Not at any time in my career did we cross an ethical line", he said.

"I've been gagged for the last 18 months because of the legal investigation - so I couldn't say anything".

"It wasn't performance enhancing in the sense that for me it was a case that I had this problem". "I'd have asthma attacks".

"I haven't worked and had the passion I've had for this sport for 15-20 do that to the sport, it's just absurd". "This wasn't a medication that was abused in order to gain an advantage".

The 37-year-old claimed he was the victim of a "witch hunt" and that his children had been impacted by the proceedings.

Inconsistent evidence, missing medical records, the pattern of treatments before the biggest races: even without the evidence of an unnamed whistleblower, to which Team Sky have objected, this is not a body of evidence that suggests Brailsford's supposed masterwork still has a future.

Sky UK declined to comment on the committee's assessment of its cycling team, but acknowledged mistakes had been made in its medical record-keeping and oversight but "strongly refuted" the report's key allegations. The informant goes on to say "they were all using corticosteroids out of competition to lean down in preparation for the major races that season".

"This same source also states that Bradley Wiggins was using these drugs beyond the requirement for any TUE". It was completely under medical need.

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The five-times Olympic gold medalist told the BBC in an interview on Monday, following the publication of a British parliamentary committee report on doping in sport, that he had not cheated.

"I would love to know who it is, I think it would answer a lot of questions".

Wiggins reiterated when asked if he had ever cheated that the claims were "absurd" and said that it was "the worst thing to be accused of".

"These allegations have never been put to me before until now, I've only found out today what I'm actually being accused of", he added. I just don't know any more in this sport - you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. It was initially claimed that the package Simon Cope brought out to La Toussuire was for the British women's team cyclist, Emma Pooley, and not for Bradley Wiggins.

"It would be hard to know what possible medical need could have required such a seemingly excessive use of this drug", it added. The source that the statement alludes to is described as "well-placed and respected" within the report.

The allegation in the DCMS report is not that Brailsford, Shane Sutton and company were running a secret doping operation.

DR: You didn't abuse the TUE system?

In January of that year, Cycling Weekly reported from the unveiling: "This is the first British ProTour team".

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

"Tramadol must also be banned in cycling".

That deal has been held up by United Kingdom regulators but the picture is set to get even more complicated as Murdoch has agreed to sell most of 21st Century Fox, including its stake in Sky, to U.S. giant Disney.

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