In a recent interview with BBC News, Sir Bradley Wiggins said that before major races he did not try to get any unfair advantage of being allowed to use banned steroids. This cyclist, who competed in the Olympics, said he exposed himself to strong anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone because of his respiratory problems. Bradley stated that he took therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to “put himself back on a level playing field”. He used therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before the biggest races in those seasons.
Under therapeutic use exemptions, athletes are allowed to use banned substances if they have a genuine medical condition which requires those substances.
Wiggins, who is the first British cyclist to win Tour de France, is one of the many athletes whose medical records were leaked by hackers “Fancy Bears”. It is also speculated that Fancy Bears are linked to Russia and are seeking revenge for the revelations on state-sponsored doping in that country. Meanwhile, the former cyclist Jörg Jaksche has accused Team Sky of which Wiggins was formerly a part, of hypocrisy. He reportedly said that the way Wiggins had used the drug was consistent with how it was abused in cycling’s darkest days.
It must be noted that Bradley’s TUE’s were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body, the UCI. It also clarified that neither Bradley nor Team Sky (his former team) had broken any rules.
In his interview to BBC Wiggins further said that he been a long time sufferer of Asthma. He explained, “I went to my team doctor at the time, and we went, in turn, to a specialist to see if there’s anything else we could do to cure these problems.”
On the issue of doping in cycling, Wiggins said that this menace is still there in the world of cycling and the powerful anti-inflammatory drug was previously “abused” by riders. In the context of his use of the drugs Wiggins justified himself saying, “This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage. This was about putting myself back on a level playing field to compete at the highest level.”
Wiggins, elaborating on his breathing difficulties problem, said that had been “struggling” with asthma and his breathing before the 2012 Tour de France and decided to “take that medical advice”.
Dr Prentice Steffen, the doctor at Garmin Slipstream where Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour de France said, “You do have to think it is kind of coincidental that a big dose of intramuscular long-acting contortionists would be needed at that exact time before the most important race of the season. I would say certainly now in retrospect it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t look right from a health or sporting perspective.”
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