Bradley Wiggins is set to appear on a British television talk show on Sunday to explain himself after he became embroiled in controversy following the leak of his medical information by the ‘Fancy Bears’ hackers.
Wiggins’ history of Therapeutic Use Exemptions – permission to use ordinarily banned substances to treat illness – was published online after the hacking team gained access to the World Anti Doping Agency’s databases.
Despite issuing two statements through a spokesperson, Wiggins has so far refused to directly answer questions about the arising issues and concerns, turning down Cyclingnews' requests last weekend. However, he is now scheduled to appear on the BBC's Andrew Marr show on Sunday at 9am UK time to discuss the matter.
While Wiggins did not break any anti-doping rules, questions have arisen over the exploitation of a ‘grey area’ created by the TUE system, with Wiggins having been urged to explain the three intramuscular injections of Triamcinolone Acetonide he received just ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
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Confusion has also arisen from the 36-year-old’s previous claims that no needle had ever pierced his skin – apart from routine vaccinations and drips when suffering with diarrhoea or dehydration. In the past he has voiced his support for the UCI’s ‘no needle’ policy, introduced in 2011, even saying they should have done more to enforce it, and he has claimed that the very mention of a needle was a taboo in the British Cycling set-up.
Wiggins has issued two public statements since the leak, with the initial response coming through a spokesperson and insisting there was “nothing new here”. That was based on the fact that Wiggins is a known allergy sufferer, but ignored the fact that none of the rider’s TUE’s had ever been made public.
He followed that up with a statement distancing himself from Gert Leinders, the tainted former Rabobank doctor who worked at Sky during the period in which Wiggins received the Triamcinolone Acetonide injections. In that statement he also sought to clarify his ‘no injections’ claim, saying that he had meant those of the intravenous – rather than intramuscular – sort.