Cycling

Sky boss defends Wiggins's record

Bradley Wiggins (File)
Bradley Wiggins (File)

London - Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford has insisted British cycling great Bradley Wiggins did nothing wrong in receiving a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for otherwise banned drugs.

Wiggins has been in the spotlight since leaked medical data showed the multiple Olympic champion had been granted a TUE by cycling authorities for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone, which he was permitted to take just days before the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as the 2011 Tour and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Wiggins said he needed the drug to help control his asthma.

But Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin, quoted in the Mail on Sunday, said it was "strange" that Wiggins had received the injections immediately before three Grand Tours.

"And injecting?" said the Dutch Olympic silver medallist. "So then you have very bad asthma.

The 36-year-old Wiggins has been adamant he has done nothing wrong and Brailsford, his Team Sky boss, backed his star rider emphatically on Monday.

"What we're talking about here is Bradley having a need, the team doctor supporting that, an expert giving their opinion that this is the medicine that is required, and that then going to the authorities who say 'we agree with you, and here's the certificate that gives you the permission to use that medication'," Brailsford told the BBC.

"I've got trust in (the TUE) process and the integrity of that process."

Wiggins denied trying to gain an "unfair advantage" in a pre-recorded interview with BBC television broadcast Sunday.

"I've been a life-long sufferer of asthma and I went to my team doctor at the time and we went, in turn, to a specialist to see if there's anything else we could do to cure these problems," Wiggins said.

"You have to show and provide evidence from a specialist that they will then scrutinise with three independent doctors and authorise you to take this product. If one of those three doctors says no, you get declined."

Wiggins's own words have been used against him after he told the ghost-writer of his 2012 autobiography 'My Time' that he was in good health and the form of his life before the 2012 Tour.

However, the five-time Olympic champion told the BBC: "This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn't about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage.

"This was about putting myself back on a level playing-field in order to compete at the highest level," Wiggins added.

Meanwhile Brailsford added that fans could have complete confidence in the Sky team he helped set up.

"One hundred percent you can trust in Sky, absolutely 100 percent," he said. "It's the very essence of why we created this team in the first place.

"That's what we wanted to create," said Brailsford.

"And I absolutely guarantee you that nobody on this team has or will be put under pressure to do anything outside the rules."

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