Bradley Wiggins accused of using performance enhancing drugs during Tour de France in bombshell report
A fresh doping storm in the world of cycling.
A damning parliamentary report has accused Bradley Wiggins of using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport released a report on Monday morning stating that Wiggins used a powerful and banned corticosteroid in order to give himself an edge over his fellow competitors at the 2012 Tour de France. The substance in question, triamcinolone, was found to be used to help weight loss without the loss of power as opposed to its legitimate medical function of treating asthma.
Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, the only time the Englishman has won the prestigious race.
Team Sky's manager, David Brailsford, has also been accused of crossing an ethical line in the report.
“From the evidence that has been received by the committee, we believe that this powerful corticosteroid [triamcinolone] was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the Tour de France,” the report reads.
“The purpose of this was not to treat medical need, but to improve his power-to-weight ratio ahead of the race. The application for the TUE for the triamcinolone for Bradley Wiggins, ahead of the 2012 Tour de France, also meant that he benefited from the performance-enhancing properties of this drug during the race.
“This does not constitute a violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency code, but it does cross the ethical line that David Brailsford says he himself drew for Team Sky. In this case, and contrary to the testimony of David Brailsford in front of the committee, we believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky, within the Wada rules, to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need.”
Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins: this looks bad
-Tomorrow’s Guardian pic.twitter.com/T9LLrfbzzi
— Paul Johnson (@paul__johnson) March 4, 2018
In response, Wiggins said: “I find it so sad that accusations can be made, where people can be accused of things they have never done which are then regarded as facts. I strongly refute the claim that any drug was used without medical need.I hope to have my say in the next few days and put to my side across.”
The report also found Team Sky's story of the jiffy bag delivery to Wiggins in 2011 to be entirely implausible. The inquiry found that the package contained the corticosteroid triamcinolone and not the decongestant fluimucil, which was Team Sky's official line.
In a statement released in response, Team Sky said they were 'disappointed and surprised' by the report:
"The report details again areas in the past where we have already acknowledged that the Team fell short. We take full responsibility for mistakes that were made. We wrote to the committee in March 2017 setting out in detail the steps we took in subsequent years to put them right, including, for example, the strengthening of our medical record keeping.
“However, the report also makes the serious claim that medication has been used by the team to enhance performance. We strongly refute this. The report also includes an allegation of widespread triamcinolone use by Team Sky riders ahead of the 2012 Tour de France. Again, we strongly refute this allegation. We are surprised and disappointed that the committee has chosen to present an anonymous and potentially malicious claim in this way, without presenting any evidence or giving us an opportunity to respond. This is unfair both to the team and to the riders in question.
“We take our responsibility to the sport seriously. We are committed to creating an environment at Team Sky where riders can perform to the best of their ability, and do it clean.”