Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin has criticised Bradley Wiggins’ decision to seek a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to take the powerful corticoid triamcinolone before targeting the most important Grand Tours in his career.
Wiggins has been forced to defend his decision to take the drug after a week of criticism from a range of former riders, team doctors and even former UCI president Pat McQuaid, who criticised Team Sky for bending the rules.
Wiggins' TUE use was revealed by the Russian Fancy Bears hackers who broke into the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) records. His TUE forms showed that the intramuscular injections were authorised to treat asthma symptoms. It seemed a drastic measure, with other experts insisting that doctors should have been able to manage his illness using standard inhalers.
There is no suggestion that either Wiggins or Team Sky have broken any rules and the Briton's TUE was approved by the UCI doctor at the time. However, Dumoulin went as far as saying the whole thing “stinks.”
Wiggins defended his decision to take triamcinolone, arguing it was for legitimate reasons.
"This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn't about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage. This was about putting myself back on a level playing field in order to compete at the highest level,” Wiggins said during the interview on the Sunday morning Andrew Marr political chat show on the BBC.
Dumoulin, who is competing at Eneco Tour before targeting the time trial at the World Championships in Qatar, questioned the need and timing for the intramuscular injections.
"It is very strange that every time Wiggins took the medication it was in the same period,” Dumoulin was reported as saying in his local De Limburger newspaper.
“And injecting? Apparently Wiggins’ injection also worked for weeks. If that’s the case, then in my opinion you should be out of competition for weeks. This thing stinks.”
Dumoulin insisted that he has never had a TUE certificate to take a banned substance for treatment while competing, even if the rules allow them.
"No, that's cheating isn’t it? I have never applied for a certificate,” he was reported as saying, suggesting that riders abuse the TUE system.
“I once used a inhaler but I didn’t need permission. This rumble with certificates happens quite often. It is still ingrained in the sport. And I think these are certificates already approved in advance. The system works for shit.”
Dumoulin is in favour of riders revealing any TUE and medication they may need.
"Then you have no hassle, everyone knows what you're doing, even if it runs counter to medical confidentiality,” he suggested. “Apparently you get riders cheating if you do not release it. If that helps us get closer to a clean sport, I'm for it.”
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