Bradley Wiggins appeared on the Andrew Marr show on BBC on Sunday to address his use of triamcinolone
Bradley Wiggins has spoken about the release of his medical records in the wake of the leak from Russian hacker group Fancy Bears.
The leaked records showed that Wiggins has tested positive for triamcinolone, but the British cyclist denies claims that controversial Belgian doctor Geert Leinders had any hand in the decision to apply for permission to use a banned steroid under a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday on BBC, Wiggins stated that the steroid had been prescribed for "allergies and respiratory problems."
"I've been a lifelong sufferer of asthma," explained Wiggins, "and I went to my team doctor at the time and we, in turn, went to a specialist to see if there was anything else we could do. He in turn said, yep, there's something you can do, but you're going to need authorisation."
"You have to show and provide evidence from a specialist that they will then scrutinise with three independent doctors and authorise you to take this product. At that point then, once I have a certificate from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the sport's governing body, only then do you take the particular medication."
Noting that the steroid had been abused in previous years as a performance enhancer by other athletes in the sport, Wiggins underlined that he had been given permission to use it by the relevant bodies for legitimate reasons.
"This was to cure a medical condition and was, was...the governing body, the World Anti-Doping Agency, everyone said this guy is not...this was about not, this wasn't about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage, this was about putting myself back on level playing field in order to compete at the highest level."
Pressed by Marr on why he used it three times, and in particular before the Tour de France 2012 when he appeared to be in good form, Wiggins stated that he had been dealing with health issues again, even though he admitted "it didn't look like it" at the time.
"I really struggled in that period. June, July is the worst period for that. April, June, July right through those months, and I was having problems."
"We've got the medical team there," added Wiggins, "the coaches, saying 'look, Brad you're on track here, you're the favourite to win this race now, we need to make sure the next three weeks is...if there's anything we can help with at the moment'. 'Well, I'm still struggling with this breathing the last...I know it didn't look like it, but I really...is there anything else I can do just to make sure that this doesn't become an issue into a three week race at the height of the season,' and in turn I take that medical advice."
Referencing the comments made by journalist David Walsh that this situation didn't look good for Wiggins and that he had previously stated that he had only received injections for vaccinations, the cyclist said:
"I can understand, that is still an open wound in our sport, and as I've said, this particular drug was abused back in that era [...] Even with the needle comments that I made, if I can paint a picture of the landscape at that time; in 2012, right at the height of Lance Armstrong and just before the crash, as it were, with him, that...'have you ever used needles,' it was always a loaded question with regards to doping. Intravenous injections of iron, EPO, etc.
"No one ever asked the question have you had an injection from a medical professional to treat or cure a medical condition. There are two sides to that and, at that period in time, it was very much with a doping emphasis in the question."
"All the questions were very much loaded towards doping," he added.
"We have rules and legislations in our sport [...] as athletes we don't invent those rules, we have to abide by the rules. Team Sky, biggest cycling team in the world, 100%, everything they've done has been within the rules and abided [sic] by the rules that they have set to us, and we are being scrutinised for staying within the speed limit."