Bradley Wiggins‘ reaction to the indictment of Team Sky in the parliamentary select committee report into doping in British sport was swift, and in marked contrast with the ongoing silence of his former manager Dave Brailsford.
Shortly after the report’s publication on Sunday night, Wiggins took to social media to refute claims that he had abused the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) system en route to winning the 2012 Tour de France. On Monday afternoon, he sat down for a lengthy interview with BBC sport editor Dan Roan, recorded in time for his denial of wrongdoing to be broadcast on the 6pm news bulletin.
Wiggins insisted that he was “100% not a cheat” and colourfully complained about how the select committee had reached its damning conclusions about his use of corticosteroids: “I would have more rights if I had murdered someone in this process.”
The BBC later published the full transcript of the Wiggins interview, in which the former rider was questioned in detail on the allegations against him and Team Sky in the select committee report. The interview touched upon some of the key issues facing Wiggins and Team Sky – which is simultaneously defending itself on another flank in the wake of Chris Froome’s adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at last year’s Tour de France.
In September 2016, Russian hacking group Fancy Bears revealed that Wiggins had obtained TUEs for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. In its report, the parliamentary select committee maintained that Wiggins and Team Sky had abused the TUE system to enhance his performance. “The purpose of this was not to treat medical need, but to improve his power to weight ratio ahead of the race,
the report read.
Wiggins denied the allegation to the BBC, and sought to offer an explanation as to why his use of the corticosteroid coincided so precisely with his major targets of 2011, 2012 and 2013 – namely the Grand Tours.
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