Wiggins team reject Leinders links

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Bradley Wiggins has rejected any link between himself and disgraced Belgian doctor Geert Leinders after the WADA leak revealed he had obtained therapeutic use exemptions (TUE).

Wiggins was one of 25 athletes named following a Russian cyber hack on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) earlier this week.

The hack by 'Fancy Bears' appeared to show when TUEs have been provided to athletes, with the leaks alleging salbutamol were issued to Wiggins from 2008 onwards.

The dates mentioned align with Leinders' time at Team Sky, the doctor subsequently banned for life by anti-doping agencies, but a spokesperson for the five-time Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner denied there was any association between the duo.

"Brad has no direct link to Geert Leinders," a widely reported statement read. "Leinders was 'on race' doctor for Team Sky for short period and so was occasionally present at races dealing with injuries sustained whilst racing such as colds, bruises etc. 

"Leinders had no part in Brad's TUE application; Brad's medical assessments from 2011-2015 were processed by the official Team Sky doctor, and were verified by independent specialists to follow WADA, UCI and BC [British Cycling] guidelines."

Wiggins' team also moved to explain comments made by the British cyclist in his autobiography four years ago, when he said he strictly observed Team Sky's 'no needles' policy despite the leak suggesting otherwise.

"Brad's passing comment regarding needles in the 2012 book referred to the historic (illegal) practice of intravenous injections of performance enhancing substances which was the subject of the 2011 UCI law change," the statement continued.

"The triamcinolone injection that is referred to in the WADA leaks is an intramuscular treatment for asthma, is fully approved by the sport's governing bodies and Brad stands by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous needle injections."