Sports

Bradley Wiggins under scrutiny for possible drug use

Bradley Wiggins under scrutiny for possible drug use

Revelation by a scathing United Kingdom parliamentary report the victor of Tour de France 2012 Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky riders took performance-enhancing drugs has left online users feeling "deeply disappointed" and "let down". "He benefited from the performance-enhancing properties of this drug during the race".

However, ministers added: 'It would be hard to know what possible medical need could have required such a seemingly excessive use of this drug'.

'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.

But the report from a committee established in 2015 to investigate doping casts doubt on the team's use of medication and failure to keep accurate medical records.

'We take full responsibility for mistakes that were made. That's a matter for Team Sky. The stated mission was to cleanly produce Britain's first Tour de France champion as cycling was trying to rebuild its reputation after years of scandals.

The backbench MPs started by asking if Britain's anti-doping policies were fit for objective following a Sunday Times report into a leaked database of suspicious blood tests by top athletes in 2015, and UK Anti-Doping's investigation into claims of wrongdoing within cycling gave them fresh targets in 2016 and 2017. Froome denies any wrongdoing.

The MPs in charge of the inquiry also highlight the suspect delivery of a "jiffy bag" to Wiggins at a race in 2011. Team Sky, Britain's cycling team, have always claimed it was used to treat asthma.

There was no paper trail or written evidence to substantiate a claim by Brailsford that the product couriered was Fluimucil, a brand name for a legal decongestant containing acetylcysteine used for clearing mucus.

The report was released by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Monday.

It was said instead he was given a legal decongestant via a nebulizer - a claim UKAD has been able to neither prove nor disprove because of a lack of medical records.

Wiggins has been threatening to "have his say" on UKAD since it closed its investigation into claims he used triamcinolone illegally at a race in June 2011 four months ago.

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The report found that Team Sky crossed an "ethical line" in allowing the use of medication, which they said was used to treat the cyclist's asthma.

The most stark is that Team Sky abused the anti-doping system to allow Wiggins, and possibly support riders, to take powerful corticosteroids to prepare them for the Tour de France.

The team and Wiggins deny this, but ex-coach Shane Sutton describes his behaviour as "unethical" and an unnamed source says the team were gaming the system.

A leak by the Russian hackers Fancy Bears in September 2016 revealed he had three intramuscular injections of triamcinolone before big grand tours including the Tour de France in 2012.

The report said that while there was no violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code,"it does cross the ethical line that [team principal] David Brailsford says he himself drew for Team Sky". Now a TUE committee of independent medics gives approval. That it contained a powerful corticosteroid, a substance which boosts the power-to-weight ratio of the rider and which had a history of use in the sport, was just co-incidence, users argue.

But the parliamentary report said claims by Team Sky coaches and managers that they were largely unaware of the medical methods "seem incredible, and inconsistent with their original aim of 'winning clean, ' and maintaining the highest ethical standards".

Equally damning for Brailsford, the report asks how he "can ensure that his team is performing to his requirements, if he does not know and cannot tell, what drugs the doctors are giving the riders?"

Sir Bradley 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. This is unfair both to the Team and to the riders in question.

The committee also said there was serious doubt over Team Sky's claims that Wiggins did not take triamcinolone before the previous year's Tour de France in 2011.

Prior to the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, Wiggins used triamcinolone after receiving a therapeutic exemption to use the drug, which is used to treat allergies and respiratory issues.


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