Bradley Wiggins has launched an attack on the contents of the Select Committee’s DCMS report and told British Tour de France broadaster ITV that while Team Sky could have handled themselves better during a period that spans the last two years, "we're still not at the bottom of it".
Quite what "it" Wiggins was precisely referring to remains unclear, and Wiggins would not elaborate further, but after agreeing that Team Sky could have handled themselves better, he added: "In terms of record keeping, yeah, probably, but there are things that have come to light with this whole thing, that we've found out since that are quite scary actually. It's very sinister, and we're still not at the bottom of it. We're finding stuff out daily, to do with this package that never was, and all this stuff, and it's quite frightening actually."
Asked if there was anything he could say or reveal, Wiggins said there wasn't.
"No. I'm still working on it. People are coming to us and saying, 'You know this has happened?' and it's, like, 'Right, OK.' We can debate TUEs, that's one thing, but where it went after that with everything else, there's a film to be made there," Wiggins said.
"Once it's all stacked up and pieced together, it's quite shocking, actually. Eventually. There are a few people bricking it (scared - Ed) at the moment, that's for sure. We'll see. I hope that it comes out of its own accord. It's in some people's interests for it not to come out and to get buried. We'll see. It's all gone very quiet at the moment."
Wiggins was put under the spotlight in 2016 when the 'Fancy Bears' hackers revealed that he had taken courses of the powerful cortisone triamcinolone on the eve of several Grand Tours, including his Tour de France win in 2012. Wiggins and his medical team applied for the TUE medication under the UCI rules of the time, but the DCMS report in 2018 later claimed that, "Contrary to the testimony of David Brailsford in front of the Committee, we believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky, within the WADA rules, to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need."
Wiggins has stated that the medication was needed for health reasons rather than to give him a competitive edge, but the use of his TUEs at the very least opened an ethical debate over his use of the system.
"Is there an ethical line? Of course there's an ethical line," Wiggins said in his defence. "Is it legal? Isn't it legal? At the end of the day you're not taking this stuff just willy nilly. You're complaining of a problem, a serious problem. Is there an answer to it? I don't know if there's an answer to it. The doctor said: 'We're going to have to see a specialist.' Riders see specialists all the time for knee problems, breathing problems etc, etc.
"That specialist says that you can do this, but there's a process that you need to go through in order to be granted the medication under the rules of the governing bodies. So you go through that process, and you make sure that all your paperwork is in place before you take the product. And then you get hammered for it further down the line. So, as I said, I'd be more worried about the people that weren't going through the process and doing it outside the window and it's gone undetected without anyone ever knowing about it."
'The (DCMS) report was fabricated stuff'
When the DCMS report landed in March, it provided a scathing review of the medical practices at British Cycling and Team Sky. The report, which was almost three years in the making, set out a detailed analysis of the medical practices used by both British Cycling and Team Sky, and shed further light on their dwindling credibility through the eyes of the Committee.
There was also the inclusion of new evidence, and a startling testimony that indicated the Committee's belief that Team Sky riders, other than Bradley Wiggins, were treated with corticoidsteroids out of competition in order to shed weight ahead of the 2012 Tour de France. Not illegal, per se, but a tactic that further damaged Team Sky's credibility and Dave Brailsford's position. Team Sky denied the allegation, but at the Giro d'Italia, Dave Braislford refused to go into detail when asked about the report.
Wiggins told ITV that he attempted to meet with the chair of the select committee, Damien Collins MP, and that while they did ask him questions, his evidence was never published.
"We asked if I could see this Damien Collins bloke and he didn't come back to us," Wiggins told ITV.
"They asked me five questions at the 11th hour on the Friday before the report came out on the Monday. I answered their five questions. They didn't even publish any of my answers. I wasn't even given the opportunity, which served them right, but from what I've heard, they had five people give evidence and all of them said the same thing and none of that was published in the report. The report was fabricated stuff. It seems they used parliamentary privilege to get it through legal."
Wiggins also took aim at the way the story surrounding the infamous Jiffy bag was reported. He pinpointed the journalist who broke the story, Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, who also reported correctly that Team Sky claimed that the courier of the medical package was sent to see Emma Pooley, despite the fact that this proved to be untrue. As the story developed, Dave Brailsford is reported as asking Lawton, "If you didn't write the story, is there anything else that could be done?"
"The way it's reported is that a medical package was delivered to Bradley Wiggins... It wasn't delivered to me," Wiggins said, defending his role in the whole Jiffy bag affair.
"I was racing. I didn't sign for it with the DHL bloke. I didn't even know about it until Matt Lawton asked me about it in October 2016, at which point I said, 'I don't know, Matt. I don't know anything about it.' He didn't write that. It's all those things...
"All you want is a fair trial and you don't get that in those situations. Obviously other people didn't help. Brailsford. But then I've only got people's words as to what those discussions were. I don't know who is in with who, who is serving who, whether it was done purposely, if it's retaliation for something. It just became a mess."
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