Wig­gins de­nies seek­ing ‘un­fair ad­van­tage’

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

Bri­tish cy­clist Bradley Wig­gins has de­fended his use of banned sub­stances un­der med­i­cal ex­emp­tion rules, say­ing he was not look­ing for “un­fair ad­van­tage” but merely try­ing to mit­i­gate the im­pact of asthma and al­ler­gies.

The first Bri­ton to win the Tour de France, Wig­gins has been the sub­ject of al­le­ga­tions of hypocrisy over the tim­ing of the med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions since his anti-dop­ing records were among those leaked by cy­ber hack­ers on the fan­cy­bear.net web­site.

The data leaked re­lates to Ther­a­peu­tic Use Ex­emp­tions (TUEs), which al­low ath­letes to take banned sub­stances for ver­i­fied med­i­cal needs and are signed off by sports fed­er­a­tions. There is no sug­ges­tion Wig­gins has bro­ken any rules.

The data re­vealed Wig­gins was given per­mis­sion to take the pow­er­ful cor­ti­cos­teroid tri­am­ci­nolone be­fore his break­through tri­umph at the 2012 Tour de France as well as the 2011 ver­sion of the en­durance clas­sic and the 2013 Tour of Italy.

“This was to cure a med­i­cal con­di­tion. This wasn’t about try­ing to find a way to gain an un­fair ad­van­tage,” Wig­gins told BBC.

“This was about putting my­self back on a level play­ing-field in or­der to com­pete at the high­est level.”

Wig­gins’s for­mer doc­tor at the Garmin Slip­stream team, Pren­tice St­ef­fen said he was “sur­prised” the cy­clist had needed tri­am­ci­nolone, which con­victed dop­ers David Mil­lar and Michael Ras­mussen said was a highly po­tent drug.

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