Wiggins gets more flak for missed test

LONDON • Bradley Wiggins was facing renewed questions after it was alleged that Britain's most successful Olympian committed a "whereabouts failure" in May - less than three months before he won gold in Rio de Janeiro.

Team Sky and Wiggins have been under pressure after his therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) became public knowledge, leaving the cyclist open to accusations that he had behaved unethically by injecting the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone in 2011, 2012 and 2013, before his most important race of those seasons.

They insist that the TUEs were medically necessary to deal with a pollen allergy that aggravates Wiggins' asthma condition.

That was followed by allegations of further wrongdoing which meant UK Anti-Doping has expanded its inquiry into British cycling after reports that Team Sky and Wiggins are being investigated over the contents of a medical package.

A report in the Daily Mail on Friday alleged that the 36-year-old provided insufficient information about where he would be after returning from the Tour of California in May.

According to the paper, Wiggins blamed the time difference and the fact that it was an overnight flight but the incident was still marked down as a missed test - the third of his career after similar instances between 2005 and 2009.

Under the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules, athletes must provide a one-hour slot every day when a doping control officer can test them. An athlete who misses three tests in 12 months can be banned for up to two years.

The revelation is particularly embarrassing for Wiggins, after he criticised British team-mate Lizzie Deignan last month, saying there was "no excuse" for missing three doping tests in less than a year.

"When you're a professional athlete and you're a world champion, there's no excuse, because it's your career," the five-time Olympic gold medallist said.

Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome also missed a test last year while on holiday and he blamed overzealous staff at an Italian hotel, who refused to allow the anti-doping authorities to "disturb its guests".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'Wiggins gets more flak for missed test'. Print Edition | Subscribe