A report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee has suggested that Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins used performance-enhancing drugs for allegedly treating a legitimate medical condition in order to win the 2012 Tour de France.
It is also reported that Team Sky allowed a number of support riders as well as Wiggins to take powerful corticosteroids in preparation for the Tour de France.
The MPs that led the inquiry found that Team Sky had used Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) which allow athletes to take banned substances such as corticosteroids for medical reasons with the approval of sporting authorities as a way of manipulating anti-doping controls.
The report says: “The purpose of this was not to treat medical need, but to improve his power-to-weight ratio ahead of the race. The application for the TUE for the triamcinolone for Bradley Wiggins, ahead of the 2012 Tour de France, also meant that he benefited from the performance-enhancing properties of this drug during the race.
“This does not constitute a violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency code, but it does cross the ethical line that David Brailsford (Team Sky coach) says he himself drew for Team Sky. In this case, and 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.”
Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins’ credibility was damaged even further after it was revealed at a select committee hearing that Team Sky’s doctor, Richard Freeman, faces a General Medical Council investigation for failing to keep the former Tour de France winner’s medical records, which he allegedly lost when his laptop was stolen.
Bradley Wiggins has recently tweeted his views on the issue.
Overall, this is another big blow to Team Sky’s reputation as the most successful cycling team in the world. Following Chris Froome’s failed drugs test last year. Froome has denied any wrongdoing.
As for Wiggins, it is now possible that this will damage his legacy.