Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wiggins says he is victim of smear attempt



Wiggins says he is victim of smear attempt

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins gestures after Team GB lost to Australia in the men’s team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in London on March 3, 2016. AFP
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins gestures after Team GB lost to Australia in the men’s team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in London on March 3, 2016. AFP

Wiggins says he is victim of smear attempt

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says he is the victim of a “malicious” attempt to smear his reputation, vehemently denying he has cheated during his glittering career, which also features five Olympic gold medals.

A damning report by lawmakers on Monday said Wiggins and Team Sky had crossed an “ethical line” by using drugs to enhance performance and not just to treat medical need.

It comes after Russian computer hackers revealed in 2016 that the British rider had applied for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to have injections of the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone before three of his biggest races, including the 2012 Tour de France, which he won.

But Wiggins said in an interview with the BBC that he only used prescribed drugs for valid medical reasons and when asked if he categorically denied cheating, added: “A hundred per cent. Never, throughout my career.”

“This is malicious,” said the five-time Olympic champion, who was the first British cyclist to win the Tour. “This is someone trying to smear me. These allegations, it’s the worst thing to be accused of.

“It’s also the hardest thing to prove you haven’t done. We’re not dealing in a legal system. I’d have had more rights if I’d murdered someone.”

The UK government’s Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee report centred around the team’s use of triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone, used to treat asthma, is an anti-inflammatory steroid that can also help cyclists shed weight without losing power.

Wiggins, 37, denied the team had crossed an ethical line by using the medication.

‘This is malicious’

He said he had only used triamcinolone on one occasion other than the three TUEs, which had already been made public, but the report said he may have taken it nine times in four years.

“I don’t know where that’s come from,” Wiggins said. “I really would like to know. This is an anonymous source, this is an anonymous person who has said this.

“I refute that 100 per cent. This is malicious. This is someone trying to smear me.”

Wiggins said he had stuck to the rules in place at the time and had been granted permission by cycling’s governing body to take the drug.

When asked if he would have won the Tour de France without it in 2012, he replied: “Well, had I had an asthma attack, no, probably not. No.”

Team Sky said they took full responsibility for mistakes that were made but strongly refuted the claim that medication was used to enhance performance.

Wiggins said he would try to repair his damaged legacy.

“I don’t know how I’m going to pick the pieces up with the kids and stuff, and I’m left to do that as well as trying to salvage my reputation from this,” he added. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration