Wiggins and Team Sky deny claims in DCMS report
Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky strongly refuted claims they crossed the "ethical line" by using legal drugs to allegedly enhance the performance of the multiple Olympic champion.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee published a lengthy report suggesting Team Sky used drugs allowed under anti-doping rules to enhance performance, not just to treat medical needs in order to win the 2012 Tour de France.
Wiggins, 37, was the subject of a UK Anti-Doping investigation, which was closed in November after UKAD said it was unable to discover what was in a jiffy bag sent to Team Sky during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.
During the inquiry in 2016, Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said the package delivered to Wiggins contained decongestant Fluimucil - which is used for clearing mucus and is not on the banned list - but the committee were unable to verify that claim.
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 & put my side across.-- Brad Wiggins (@SirWiggo) March 5, 2018
"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 read.
"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 [Therapeutic Use Exemption] 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."
On the jiffy bag, the report continued: "To many people, the whole story of the package seems implausible, to say the least. Further information shown to the committee claimed that the product that was requested to be sent out to the event was Triamcinolone."
In a statement posted via his official Twitter account, Wiggins wrote: "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 & put my side across."
Team Sky also released a statement, saying: "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."