Bradley Wiggins has refuted claims made in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's report into 'Combating Doping in Sport' that he and potentially other Team Sky riders took powerful corticosteroids in order to lose weight and improve performance ahead of the 2012 Tour de France.
Wiggins became the first British winner of the race that year but since the 2016 Fancy Bears hack uncovered that he was given three doses of triamcinolone on the eve of three Grand Tours between 2011 and 2013, he has faced serious questions along with Team Sky, and Dave Brailsford.
The DCMS report, released on Monday, stated that "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.
"From the evidence that has been received by the Committee regarding the use of triamcinolone at Team Sky during the period under investigation, and particularly in 2012, we believe that this powerful corticosteroid was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the Tour de France. 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 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."
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In a Tweet posted at midnight, just as the report was unveiled, 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, denying that they had broken rules, and questioning the legitimacy of the Select Committee's information.
"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," they said.
"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."
Cyclingnews requested an interview with Dave Brailsford. The request was denied but the Select Committee report went into detail over Team Sky's inability to provide both them and UK Anti-Doping with sufficient medical records. Shane Sutton, also told the Select Committee that "what Brad was doing was unethical but not against the rules."
Wiggins had been relatively silent on the subject in recent months. At his WIGGINS team launch last week he reiterated that he would have his say at some stage.
After the Fancy Bears revelations, Wiggins appeared on the BBC and said: "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 in order to compete at the highest level."
For a complete and comprehensive report on the Select Committee's findings, click here.