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Wiggins clarifies ‘no needles’ claim following leak of medical records

Also says Geert Leinders had no part in application for TUE

Sir Bradley Wiggins has clarified comments about his use of needles following the recent leak by Russian hackers which showed he had injections of triamcinolone before the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France races and before the 2013 Giro d'Italia. Wiggins also said that controversial Belgian doctor Geert Leinders, a doctor with Team Sky in 2011 and 2012, had nothing to do with those therapeutic use exemption (TUE) applications.

Wiggins’ use of triamcinolone – which came to light after Russian hackers published medical data from the WADA database earlier this week – has raised questions in some quarters as the drug was delivered via an injection. Wiggins has previously claimed to have strictly adhered to British Cycling’s ‘no needles’ policy.

In his book 'Bradley Wiggins: My Time', published in November 2012, Wiggins wrote:

“British Cycling have always had a no-needle policy, it’s been a mainstay of theirs; so it was something I grew up with as a bike rider. In British cycling culture, at the word ‘needle’ or the sight of one, you go, ‘Oh shit’, it’s a complete taboo...I’ve never had an injection, apart from I’ve had my vaccinations, and on occasion I’ve been put on a drip, when I’ve come down with diarrhoea or something or have been severely dehydrated.”

The triamcinolone injections were used to treat the cyclist’s asthma.

In a statement to the Press Association today, a spokesman for Wiggins said:

“Brad's passing comment regarding needles in the 2012 book referred to the historic (illegal) practice of intravenous injections of performance enhancing substances which was the subject of the 2011 UCI law change.

“The triamcinolone injection that is referred to in the WADA leaks is an intramuscular treatment for asthma, is fully approved by the sport's governing bodies and Brad stands by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous needle injections.”

Wiggins also denied that his TUEs had anything to do with Leinders, who was last year banned because of doping offences committed while he was with the Dutch Rabobank team from 2002-09.

“Brad has no direct link to Geert Leinders. Leinders was 'on race' doctor for Team Sky for short period and so was occasionally present at races dealing with injuries sustained whilst racing such as colds, bruises etc. Leinders had no part in Brad's TUE application; Brad's medical assessments from 2011-2015 were processed by the official Team Sky doctor, and were verified by independent specialists to follow WADA, UCI and BC guidelines.”

The latest batch of British athletes to have had details of TUEs leaked by the Russian hackers includes Laura Trott . The four-time Olympic gold medallist, who has spoken frequently about her asthma, required a TUE for salmeterol and salbutamol between 2009 and 2013.

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