A report published by the digital, culture, media, and sport select committee (DCMS) states that Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky had “crossed an ethical line.
This reports follows claims that a ‘mysterious jiffy bag’ that was delivered to Wiggins, following the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, contained more than the claimed legal decongestant.
According to team Sky the package is supposed to have contained Fluimucil which is used for the treatment of a build-up of mucus or catarrh, however is not a prohibited substance. The DCMS report states that this may not be entirely true and the sealed package contained a very different substance.
It’s been alleged the package contained triamcinolone. A substance used to treat the effects of asthma and allergies that Wiggins is a known sufferer of. Wiggins has a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) that permits him to use during competition. He was granted TUEs to take triamcinolone shortly before the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Former Team Sky Doctor, Roger Palfreeman states “Systemic corticosteroids are widely abused in some endurance sports, where they are used for a number of reasons. Anecdotally, they are thought to result in the breakdown of adipose tissue [fat], particularly when combined with high volumes of endurance training. This effect is used primarily in endurance sports where the power-to-weight ratio is an important determinant of performance”.
Wiggins said in a statement: “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.”
Despite the damning accusations in the report, no hard evidence has been found to support the DCMS claims. The time old saying of innocent until proven guilty does not seem to be the case here with the report clearly set to tarnish the names of those involved. Evidence or no evidence.
In many ways this seems like a bit of a warning to both British cycling and Team Sky. It highlights the scrutiny they are now under and the level of accountability they hold. Whilst the clean up of the sport can only be a good thing its difficult to dispute the effects a report like this has on the cycling industry as a whole. As new bike sales fall and businesses such as Evans cycles reporting a loss in revenue its hard to see how a report like this will help.
So, did Bradley do it? Despite the accusations in the DCMS reports, I am a believer of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ however, I will leave you to decide what you think.
To find out more here is the link to the DCMS report: