British MPs to grill cycling officials on Wiggins' TUEs

That Bradley Wiggins obtained therapeutic use exemptions to treat his medical condition before three cycling Grand Tours is the subject of much criticism.
That Bradley Wiggins obtained therapeutic use exemptions to treat his medical condition before three cycling Grand Tours is the subject of much criticism.

LONDON • British Cycling chiefs have been summoned to face a parliamentary hearing where they will be ordered to disclose the full facts surrounding Bradley Wiggins' controversial use of a powerful corticosteroid before three key races.

The inquiry by the culture, media and sport select committee is expected to include detailed questions for officials on the contents of a medical package delivered by a British Cycling coach to Team Sky in France just after Wiggins had won the Criterium du Dauphine race in 2011.

The hearing, part of the committee's inquiry into doping in sport, will take place before Christmas and will intensify pressure on British Cycling to disclose exactly what was in the package.

The list of those to be called has yet to be finalised but the committee will focus on the governing body and also look at the close links between its officials and Team Sky.

Leaked documents show that Wiggins, Britain's most decorated Olympian with eight medals, including five golds, obtained a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to receive triamcinolone injections to treat a pollen allergy before the 2011 Tour de France.

He did the same before the 2012 Tour and the 2013 Giro D'Italia.

The 36-year-old has denied any wrongdoing and said that he took the drug to compete "on a level playing field" with other riders.

The committee will also focus on the ethics of using TUEs in such circumstances.

Damian Collins, the committee's newly elected chairman, told The Times: "As part of the inquiry into doping, the select committee wants to look at the ethics of the use of TUEs and the way this is policed by British Cycling. We can ask British Cycling about any incidents in the past where we believe it is important how the governing body oversees its sport."

A British Cycling spokesman said: "We welcome any opportunity to support anti-doping efforts."

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) is also investigating allegations of wrongdoing surrounding the medical package that was delivered by Simon Cope, a British Cycling women's coach at the time and now head of Wiggins' team.

Ukad investigators are believed to be looking at whether the package was sought for Wiggins by Richard Freeman, the Team Sky doctor. Freeman and the team have denied wrongdoing.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'British MPs to grill cycling officials on Wiggins' TUEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe