Sir Bradley Wiggins’ wife, Cath, has called Chris Froome a ‘slithering reptile’. She then later apologised for her comments (after they became public knowledge).
Froome had twice the permitted limit of the anti-asthma drug Salbutamol when tested at the Vuelta a Espana in September.
The drug is not banned outright, but Froome will have to prove that he kept to the permitted dosage and explain why the reading was so high if he is to avoid a ban and the loss of his Vuelta title.
The Team Sky rider insists he has not broken any rules, explaining: "I have got a very clear routine when I use my inhaler and how many times. I have given all that information to the UCI to help get to the bottom of it."
But never mind the ins and outs of salbutamol. The question on everyone’s lips is what does Cath Wiggins think?
The Telegraph reports that a hastily-deleted post on her Facebook page from Wednesday was subsequently put out on Twitter by a third party.
Alongside a photo of Froome, she wrote: “I am going to be sick. Nothing in the news. If I was given to conspiracy theory I’d allege they’d thrown my boy under the bus on purpose to cover for this slithering reptile.”
Last month UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) closed an investigation into Team Sky and British Cycling without charges having failed to identify the contents of the package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
However, many believe that a more significant issue for Wiggins was how the 2012 Tour de France champion made use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to take triamcinolone in the lead-up to major races.
Wiggins was administered the drug for allergies, but a number of professional riders have admitted using it performance enhancement. One who admitted doing so, the commentator David Millar (whose sister is Team Sky’s Director of Business Operations), believes that Team Sky’s approach amounted to ‘gaming the system’.
It seems safe to assume that the Wiggins and Froome families won’t be sharing eggnog over the festive period. The enmity has been common knowledge since a Twitter spat between Cath and Froome’s then-fiancée, now wife, Michelle, during the 2012 Tour.
Nevertheless, Cath Wiggins clearly regrets her latest comments. In a Facebook post last night, she apologised for her lamentable firefighting skills: “Sorry everyone for my emotional comments and insults. Too much stress got the better of me. Heat of the moment thing and certainly not my intent to fan the flames.”