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Twitter pulls Sky journo Adam Boulton's leg as he confuses convicted spy Chelsea Manning with cycling great Bradley Wiggins live on air

Former US soldier whose sentence for espionage was commuted by President Obama this week was known as Bradley until 2013

It’s easy to get people’s names confused – we’ve been guilty of it ourselves at at times – but Sky journalist Adam Boulton has had his leg pulled on social media this week after mistakenly referring to former US soldier Chelsea Manning as Bradley Wiggins during a live broadcast.

The gaffe is down to the fact that the Manning, a trangender woman, went by her birth name of Bradley until 2013.

That year, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage after giving information to Wikileaks, and said the day after she was jailed that she wanted to be known as Chelsea and to undergo hormone replacement therapy.

Earlier this week, in one of his final acts as President of the United States, Barack Obama commuted her sentence meaning that Manning, who has been held in an all-male prison and has twice attempted suicide, will be released in May.

It was in a report on the commutation of her sentence that Boulton, Sky’s most senior political journalist, confused her name with that of Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France with Team Sky and Great Britain's most decorated ever Olympian, but who has been dogged by controversy in recent months over his use of medicines to treat his asthma and allergies.

Unsurprisingly, Boulton’s slip of the tongue drew some witty replies on Twitter.

Boulton, in Washington DC for today’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, held his hand up and apologised for his error.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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