Bradley Wiggins has told the BBC he "100 per cent did not cheat" in response to an MP's report claiming he and Team Sky crossed an ethical line by misusing drugs that are allowed under anti-doping rules. The report claimed Wiggins and Team Sky used the drugs to enhance performance instead of just for medical purposes.
In an interview broadcast Monday, Wiggins told the BBC he believes someone is out to smear him.
"Not at any time in my career did we cross the ethical line," Wiggins told BBC sports editor Dan Roan. "As I've said before, I have medical condition that I went to a doctor. This has been treated since 2003 when I was diagnosed with it through the doctors of British Cycling at that time. This was the treatment that I'd been prescribed for that particular occasion, which is, what, seven years ago now and under specialist supervision as well and in place with the rules of that time, which you were allowed to apply for use of this medication."
The report, which was released publicly on Monday, set out a detailed analysis of the medical practices used and abused by both British Cycling and Team Sky. The report looked at a number of issues, including athletics, TUEs and cycling. The focus on cycling came after the 2016 Fancy Bears hack revealed that Wiggins had taken three doses of the powerful corticoid, triamcinolone, on the eve of three Grand Tours between 2011 and 2013.
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In Monday's interview, however, Wiggins denied he used the triamcinolone to enhance performance.
"It wasn't performance enhancing in the sense that for me it was a case that I had this problem," Wiggins told the BBC. "I'd have asthma attacks. I'd have problems with breathing that flared up through pollen season. This was a case of, this was an anti-inflammatory drug that was taken in order to prevent that happening so I could compete on the same level as I'd competed all year and with my rivals.
"So this wasn't a drug that was, this wasn't a medication that was abused in order to gain an advantage," Wiggins said.
The report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee also relied on a confidential source for information. The source provided details about Team Sky's medical policy between 2011 and 2013, claiming Wiggins and a select group of riders trained separately from the rest of the team in preparation for the 2012 season.
Wiggins described the investigation to the BBC as a "witch hunt" and said the use of information from a unnamed source was unfair.
"I would have had more rights if I had murdered someone than in this process," Wiggins said. "I don't know what [the source's] motivation is. It was completely under medical need.
"I am having to deal with the fallout; I am left in the middle trying to pick up the pieces," he said. "It is a malicious allegation made by an anonymous source."
Wiggins said the person or people making the allegations should make themselves known to the public.
"Who are these sources?" he asked. "Come out. Go on record. This is serious stuff."
Wiggins also indicated he has too much passion and respect for cycling to cheat.
"I have worked and had the passion I have had for 15-20 years and to do that to the sport it is the worst thing to be accused of," he said.
The report also focused on the circumstances that led Team Sky to send Simon Cope to courier a "jiffy bag" medical package all the way to the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, when the apparent contents, according to Team Sky – an over the counter decongestant – were available at a nearby pharmacy the team had used in the past. Wiggins told the BBC he had no idea what was in the delivery.
"God knows," he said. "Your guess is as good as mine. I don't run the team, I was busy doing my job that I was paid to do. I didn't even know there was a package until I was asked about it. It has become such a mess - it is ludicrous.
"Had I had the injection, it would have shown up in my urine a week later at the national road race," he said.
Wiggins described having to deal with the allegations and ensuing investigation as a "living Hell" that has caused his children to get "a hammering" at school that he described as "disgusting to witness."