Bradley Wiggins has questioned the credibility of the Parliamentary report that found his and Team Sky's use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions unethical, saying he believes the investigation was set up to destroy him.
In a long interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws at their 'Crystal Bike' awards ceremony, the 2012 Tour de France champion also voiced his frustration at the lack of conclusive evidence in the so-called 'jiffy bag' saga, again denying any knowledge of the contents of the package couriered from Britain to France in 2011.
In 2016, the Fancy Bear hacking group revealed that Wiggins had availed of TUEs to use the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide - banned in competition - ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tours and the 2013 Giro d'Italia. The Daily Mail later revealed a jiffy bag had been couriered by a member of British Cycling staff from the governing body's headquarters in Manchester to Team Sky on the final day of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
It was alleged the package contained triamcinolone and that the contents were administered to Wiggins on the Sky bus. However, neither that nor claims from Sky manager Dave Brailsford that it contained legal asthma drug fluimucil have been substantiated given the absence of record-keeping at Sky and British Cycling.
"The claim that the package was for me does not make sense. I never saw it. What was in it? I would not know. Maybe it was a dildo for Dave Brailsford," Wiggins told HLN.
"I hear that they now have a WhatsApp group at Sky. When the riders leave the dinner table, they note everything that is left, every day. They weigh the rice and the pasta that is still on the table and say, 'Okay, the riders have left 600 grams of rice and 400 grams of pasta'. They calculate how many calories the riders have not eaten. They put that in the WhatsApp group.
"But if they do that, why is something as simple as keeping a record of a package sent from Manchester to the Dauphiné not possible? Just a piece of paper: 'this was in the package, DHL has sent it, here it is signed off'. Why did they have to lie about that? If they had, I could have continued with my life."
The select committee at British Parliament's Department of Culture, Media and Sport investigated the jiffy bag incident along with a number of other episodes relating to Team Sky and British Cycling. In a damning report published in March, it concluded drugs had been used by Sky "to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need" while it was felt that "the whole story of the package seems implausible, to say the least"
After taking aim at the credibility of the Daily Mail's reporting, Wiggins expressed his believe to Het Laatste Nieuws this week that the Parliamentary inquiry was itself undermined.
"There was no research. They had one witness. Someone with a motive - if it is who we think is the witness. They have taken the word of that witness for truth," he said.
"It was all set up to destroy me. And that because of what happened to British Cycling before the 2016 Games," he added, referring to the sexism and discrimination scandal that hit the governing body in 2016.
"I did not come to the defence of British Cycling. They had not forgotten that. Gradually it becomes clear that those stories about me are not very good. There are now questions about the Parliamentary inquiry committee. They have admitted that their report is based on that one testimony. The last word about that has not yet been had."
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.