Wiggins: Leinders had no part in TUE applications

Tour de France winner's spokesperson comments on ‘no needle’ question

Bradley Wiggins has released a second statement in relation to the leaked medical information stemming from the Fancy Bears' hack into WADA's Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), stating that Dr Geert Leinders played no part in his TUE applications, and that he did not look to mislead the public over his previous 'no injection' comments.

Tsar Team (APT28) – also known as 'Fancy Bears' – released their second round of data from its hack of WADA's Anti Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) on Friday, with Wiggins one of 29 athletes included, alongside fellow Tour de France winner Chris Froome. The data leak was been confirmed by WADA.

In his 2012 autobiography, My Time, written after his Tour de France success, Wiggins stated that he had “never had an injection, apart from I've had my vaccinations, and on occasion I've been put on a drip, when I've come down with diarrhoea or something or have been severely dehydrated."

However the leaked documents revealed that Wiggins had applied for six Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE), and that on three occasions he had received intramauscular injections before major Grand Tours. He and Team Sky claimed that these were applied for on legitimate medical grounds due to Wiggins' having long-standing asthma and pollen allergies. These procedures and the administration of the said TUEs were in-line with the WADA code but have raised questions over Team Sky's stance on TUEs and Wiggins' previous comments in his book. The latest statement from Wiggins, does state that Team Sky were aware of Wiggins' TUE application, although the team have yet to comment further.

Bradley Wiggins' TUE use

• June 13, 2008: Salbutamol (200ug dosage, inhalation as needed for 12-months)
• December 12, 2008: Salbutamol (250ug dosage, inhalation as needed for 12-months)
• December 16, 2008: Salbutamol (2 puffs dosage, 2 times per day for 12-months), Formoterol (2 puffs dosage, 2 times per day for 12-months), Budesonide (2 inhalations dosage, 2 times per day for 12-months
• June 29, 2011: Triamcinolone acetonide (40mg intramauscular dosage, one time injection)
• June 26, 2012: Triamcinolone acetonide (40mg intramauscular dosage, one time injection)
• April 22, 2013: Triamcinolone acetonide (40mg intramauscular dosage, one time injection)

"Brad's passing comment regarding needles in the 2012 book referred to the historic (illegal) practice of intravenous injections of performance enhancing substances which was the subject of the 2011 UCI law change," a spokesperson for Wiggins said in a statement.

"The traimcinolone injection that is referred to in the WADA leaks is an intramuscular treatment for asthma, is fully approved by the sport's governing bodies and Brad stands by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous needle injections.

The timing of the application to UCI for the TUEs also raised questions. Team Sky worked with Dr Leinders in a period that overlapped with some of Wiggins' TUE applications. The Belgian doctor was banned for life in US Anti-Doping Acency (USADA), Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), and Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands (Dopingautoriteit) after he was found guilty of multiple doping violations from his time as chief team doctor at the Rabobank team.

After working at Rabobank Leinders was hired by Team Sky in the winter of 2010. He found himself at the centre of a media storm during the Tour de France in 2012 when allegations first surfaced around his time at Rabobank.

Team Sky faced questions during the Tour with Dave Brailsford telling The Times, "I categorically, 100 per cent say there is no risk of anything untoward since he’s been with us. But there is reputational risk."

The British team later announced that they would hold an internal investigation into the hiring of the doctor and although the details of that procedure were never made public, Leinders' contract with the team was not renewed in October 2012.

"Brad has no direct link to Geert Leinders. Leinders was 'on race' doctor for TEAMSKY for short period and so was occasionally present at races dealing with injuries sustained whilst racing such as colds, bruises etc," Wiggins' spokesperson said.

"Leinders had no part in Brad's TUE application; Brad's medical assessments from 2011 – 2015 were processed by the official TEAMSKY Doctor, and were verified by independent specialists to follow WADA, UCI and BC guidelines."

After the leak, Wiggins' spokesperson released the first statement, stating that: "There's nothing new here. Everyone knows Brad suffers from asthma; his medical treatment is BC [British Cycling - ed] and UCI approved and like all TEAMGB athletes he follows WADA regulations to the letter.

"The leak of theses records is an attempt to undermine the credibility of WADA and that's something for them to deal with."

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