Bradley Wiggins is considering releasing a decade's worth of testing data in a bid to quell any suspicion of doping, following his remarkable performance in this year's Tour de France.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Wiggins had previously been fairly anonymous at the Tour de France, but after making the three-week race his focus for 2009 and losing 7kg, he found himself among the front runners from day one, and put in a strong performance in the mountains to finish in fourth place in Paris.
However, Wiggins is well aware that any upturn in form, especially one as dramatic as this, will be viewed with suspicion in some quarters, and he's taking the unprecendeted step of publishing his testing results to reassure cynics that he's clean. "We had a test on Saturday that should be back soon and I expect everything to go online within the next few days", he confirmed. "I came from nowhere on the Tour and everyone knows where it's been with blood doping. Once the last set of bloods are in they'll release the whole thing for the last couple of years. If more people did that fans would have a lot more respect for our achievements"
Wiggins hasn't ruled out releasing all of his testing results held by British Cycling, which stretch all the way back to age 19. But for now he's concentrating on his biological passport data over the last couple of years. "I don't want there to be any suspicion or doubt that what I did was natural. I have nothing to hide and I want this transparency", he says.
Wiggins' stance on doping certainly makes for a refreshing change: Most pro riders toe the company line, which is to state that they've never failed a test, and are always available for testing. That's what we heard from Alberto Contador during the tour and it's a common stance which doesn't do a great deal to quell suspicion in what is a highly scrutinised sport – especially since so many riders who've proffered it as a defence have later fallen foul of the testing regime. Whether Wiggins' decision will win him friends in the peloton may well be an indicator of how much attitudes have changed; we'll see if his unilateral action is followed by other riders who are, and are prepared to demonstrate they are, clean.
Friends in the peloton or no, it's definitely won him friends at road.cc. Nice one, Twiggo.
In other Wiggo news, it's been widely reported that the Londoner will give up the track disciplines in order to focus on road racing in 2010 and 2011. But in his usual forthright fashion, Wiggins has rubbished those reports: "I was dazed,confused and hung over when asked questions about what I'll be doing in the next 3 years, I don't even know what I'm doing today", he tweeted earlier today. "My full future plans will be announced in the coming weeks, everything else is merely rhubarb!"
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.