Rasmussen: Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky crossed the line

Dane says it would 'be appropriate' for Brailsford to resign

Former rider and convicted doper Michael Rasmussen has again cast doubt on Bradley Wiggins' and Team Sky's medical practices.

Speaking on the BBC programme Newsnight following the Monday morning release of the Parliamentary report into 'Combating Doping in Sport', Rasmussen said he believes there is more to Wiggins' use of TUE's than the explanations Wiggins has thus far provided.

Rasmussen also argued that the expressly anti-doping philosophy proclaimed by Team Sky has exacerbated the situation in which they now find themselves, and that it would be 'appropriate' if team principal Dave Brailsford resigned.

Rasmussen was kicked out of the 2007 Tour de France when leading the race for lying about his whereabouts. He later made a full confession to doping throughout his career.

When speaking to the BBC in 2016 after Wiggins' TUE use was leaked by hackers known as Fancy Bears, Rasmussen said: "If you look solely at the pattern of the TUEs of Bradley Wiggins then you would say that this looks very suspicious. It's something that a rider would do if he wants to perform well in a Grand Tour, something that I would do, something that I did."

Speaking Monday night to the BBC programme, Rasmussen echoed the DCMS report's assertion that Wiggins' TUE use – he gained permission to use the corticosteroid triamcinolone ahead of his Tour de France victory in 2012 and ahead of two other Grand Tours in 2011 and 2013 – was designed to enhance performance.

"The way that the TUEs were issued, it does not correspond very well with what he wrote in his book, that he never had any injections besides vaccines," he said, referring to Wiggins' 2012 autobiography, My Time.

"On top of that, it looks very much like something you would do if you wanted to improve your performance in the Tour de France.

Wiggins, speaking to the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday, Wiggins denied claims that his use of triamcinolone was for performance gains.

"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."

Asked by Newsnight host Emily Maitlis if he believed Wiggins' reasoning that there was a legitimate medical need, Rasmussen said: "In that case, it would be very convenient to have asthma in that time of the year."

Wiggins, however, told the BBC, "The grass pollen goes in seasons, and this particular strain of grass pollen I was allergic to, it was at a heightened period during June and July."

Rasmussen was then asked if he thought Wiggins' legacy was over, responding: "The problem is that he didn't break the rules in the sporting perspective but he certainly crossed the line from the medical perspective."

Rasmussen added the current position in which Sky and Wiggins find themselves is of their making due to the adoption of a 'zero tolerance' philosophy from day one.

"The trouble for Team Sky is that they have been putting themselves into this position by saying it out loud that they would not accept any former dopers in the team," he said. "If they had just acted like everybody else, and not telling the whole world they would be whiter than white or holier than the pope, it would have been a whole lot easier for them."

Asked if Sky, the team's sponsor, is putting pressure on the team to clean up the situation they find themselves in, Rasmussen responded: "I am sure they have been involved in dealing with the media strategy all along and have been backing every decision so far.

"Now, of course, it is a little bit different as it is an official committee that has come up with an entire report and have concluded there has been unethical behaviour within Team Sky. It might take them to a different perspective for Sky and the sponsors."

Rasmussen then suggested it would be 'appropriate' for Brailsford to resign.

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