In Brief

Bradley Wiggins: ‘I did not cheat - this is a malicious smear campaign’

Former Team Sky cyclist gives emotional interview after DCMS report accusations

Bradley Wiggins has come out fighting after accusations he and Team Sky “crossed an ethical line” after drugs were used to enhance performance before the cyclist’s 2012 Tour de France victory.

The parliamentary report found no evidence of medical need in the use of the drugs with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee saying that Wiggins used the “powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone to enhance performance rather than for medical needs”. 

In a tweet yesterday morning Wiggins said he “strongly refute[d] the claim that any drug was used without medical need. I hope to have my say in the next few days & put my side across”. 

True to his word, the 2012 Olympic champion granted an emotional interview last night to BBC sports editor Dan Roan in which he declared that “not at any time in my career did we cross the ethical line”. 

Swearing that “100%” he did not cheat, the 37-year-old suggested he was the victim of a vendetta. “This is malicious, this is someone trying to smear me,” he said, adding that his children are getting “a hammering at school” as a result of the report’s publication.

Wiggins was permitted a therapeutic use exemption (TUEs) shortly before the 2011 Tour de France and his 2012 Tour win, in order to take the corticosteroid triamcinolone, which is used in the treatment of allergies and respiratory issues.

“It was completely under medical need,” he said, before criticising the entire parliamentary process. “I would have had more rights if I had murdered someone than in this process,” he told the BBC. “I am having to deal with the fallout. I am left in the middle trying to pick up the pieces. It is a malicious allegation made by an anonymous source… who are these sources? Come out. Go on record. This is serious stuff.”

Much has been made during the process of a mysterious jiffy bag that was delivered to Wiggins at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011, what the press have, rather predictably, labelled ‘jiffy-gate’

Team Sky claimed it contained the legal decongestant fluimucil although the DCMS report concluded it was “not in a position” to determine its contents.

Asked by the BBC what was in the bag, Wiggins replied: “God knows. Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t run the team, I was busy doing my job that I was paid to do.”

Insisting he was treated legally with fluimucil, he said: “I didn’t even know there was a package until I was asked about it. It has become such a mess - it is ludicrous.”

There is further unwanted publicity for Wiggins in The Times with the paper reporting that he “invested in a notorious tax avoidance scheme that used a charity as a front in an attempt to deprive the taxman of £100 million”. 

According to the paper the five-time Olympic champion was an investor in the Cup Trust, a charity that was closed down by the Charity Commission in 2017 after it was involved in a tax avoidance scam.

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