Wiggins says he is victim of smear attempt
- Author: Stacy Allen Mar 09, 2018,
Mar 09, 2018, 2:00
"They had at the time the TUE agreement but now we have the evidence that it seems to be organised". "There is a big gap between what he said in the beginning and what we have learned, step by step".
Shane Sutton, the former Team Sky head coach and British cycling technical director, stuck by what he told the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee that he felt "what Brad was doing was unethical but not against the rules" in applying for TUEs for banned drugs.
UKAD closed that investigation in November, having spent 15 months trying to establish if Britain's most decorated Olympian had been given an injection of triamcinolone by Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the end of the Criterium du Dauphine race in June 2011.
Also racing for Sky in Italy is Froome, who has to explain to the UCI how he returned double the allowed level of legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine during his Vuelta a Espana victory in September 2017.
"While we have acknowledged past failings, we strongly deny the very serious new allegations about the use of medication to enhance performance, as does Bradley Wiggins", Sky's statement read.
We strongly refute this allegation (and) 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.
Team Sky and Wiggins have denied using TUEs for anything other than medical need. I can't control what people are going to think but for some people, whatever you do it is not going to be enough. "I just saw the article from a certain [outlet], it said, "You have to tell the truth.' Well, it seems that it was not the truth, if I correctly understand what is behind this".
In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Lappartient says the findings of the report "could affect the global credibility of the sport". I asked Team Sky and him to consider maybe what is the best way - and I think even for them, for Chris Froome himself, for Team Sky and for cycling. They have the power of investigation. "I would like them to do this, to see if there is some violation of anti-doping rules".
Wiggins has declined a request to comment from Press Association Sport but Team Sky has reacted angrily to the suggestion it was gaming the TUE system. Is it just using the rules?
Cedric Vasseur, the manager of fellow MPCC team Cofidis, did not hold back when asked about the report's findings on Team Sky. "The report is a little bit different", he said.
There have been calls for Sir David Brailsford to resign from his role as Team Sky's principal following the report, but Froome backed the 54-year-old. "If I were running a business and wanted to keep its image positive I would have left Team Sky a long time ago".
David Lappartient is the president of the UCI.
Lappartient repeated his call for a quick resolution to the salbutamol case of Chris Froome, which remains in limbo.
He returned an adverse finding for the asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta a Espana and is now locked in a legal and scientific wrangle with the CADF about how that happened.