Sutton urges Wiggins, Freeman to 'tell the truth'

LONDON • Did Team Sky use drugs for medical reasons or was there a darker purpose?

The question remains after Monday's publication of the UK government's digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee report, accusing the cycling team of crossing an "ethical line" by using performance-enhancing drugs that are allowed for medical purposes.

And yesterday, the team's former coach Shane Sutton called on Britain's first Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman to come forward and give a full explanation of how they used asthma drugs.

Retired cyclist Wiggins, Britain's most decorated Olympian and a five-time gold medallist, told the BBC on Monday that he had "100 per cent" not cheated but Sutton believes a more detailed response is in order.

"They need to explain it all to everybody," the Australian, who had a key coaching role at Team Sky from 2010-13, told Sky Sports.

Wiggins was granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to take the corticosteroid triamcinolone, which helps asthma sufferers, shortly before the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

But the report, corroborated by "confidential material from a well-placed and respected source" about Sky's medical policy from 2011-13, believes the 37-year-old may have been treated with triamcinolone on up to nine occasions over four years.

Sutton wants him and Freeman to come forward and clear up the inconsistencies that exist between what the DCMS committee heard about the frequency of the cyclist's use of the drug, compared to what Wiggins has said himself.

"I cannot say I know a lot about Brad's use of it in or out of competition," Sutton, who gave evidence to the committee last year, said.

"I am told by the doctor he needs a TUE for this event et cetera. Outside of the event, you have to ask them. I am calling for him and the doctor to come forward and tell the truth.

"He is a sufferer, I have seen him suffer and gasping for breath after effort, I saw what he was going through, I cannot answer how often he used it. Only the doctor and him can tell us."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Sutton urges Wiggins, Freeman to 'tell the truth''. Print Edition | Subscribe