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2012 Tour de France champ repeats claim he has no idea what was in package, but says someone is out to destroy his reputation (and he thinks he knows who it is)

 

Sir Bradley Wiggins insists that a parliamentary investigation of Team Sky that formed part of an investigation into doping in sport was an attempt to destroy his reputation – and as for that infamous Jiffy Bag that much of the probe focused on, he speculated that “Maybe it was a dildo for Dave Brailsford.”

Wiggins, clearly still angry about the way he became one of the focal points of the inquiry, was speaking to the Belgian news website, HLN.be, sponsors of the Crystal Bike awards which he attended last week to present the trophy for the country’s best male cyclist of the year to Victor Campenaerts.

Cycling News reports Wiggins as telling HLN: "The claim that the package was for me does not make sense. I never saw it. What was in it? I would not know. Maybe it was a dildo for Dave Brailsford," he said.

Referring to the lack of record-keeping relating to the contents of the package, he drew comparisons with the meticulousness with which Team Sky goes about its business, saying: "I hear that they now have a WhatsApp group at Sky. When the riders leave the dinner table, they note everything that is left, every day.

“They weigh the rice and the pasta that is still on the table and say, 'Okay, the riders have left 600 grams of rice and 400 grams of pasta'. They calculate how many calories the riders have not eaten. They put that in the WhatsApp group.

"But if they do that, why is something as simple as keeping a record of a package sent from Manchester to the Dauphiné not possible? Just a piece of paper: 'this was in the package, DHL has sent it, here it is signed off'. Why did they have to lie about that? If they had, I could have continued with my life."

He also believes that the Daily Mail article, and the subsequent parliamentary inquiry, were influenced by someone with an agenda to discredit him.

"There was no research,” he maintained. “They had one witness. Someone with a motive – if it is who we think is the witness. They have taken the word of that witness for truth.

"It was all set up to destroy me,” who added that he believed it was “because of what happened to British Cycling before the 2016 Games," when British Cycling became embroiled in allegations of bullying and discrimination that resulted in the departure of Shane Sutton as technical director and ultimately wholesale changes in the organisation’s management and procedures.

"I did not come to the defence of British Cycling,” Wiggins explained. “They had not forgotten that. Gradually it becomes clear that those stories about me are not very good.

“There are now questions about the parliamentary inquiry committee. They have admitted that their report is based on that one testimony. The last word about that has not yet been had," he added.

Wiggins himself has said on more than one occasion that, when the time is right, he will reveal the full extent of what he believes, although for now it appears he is keeping the identity of the person he thinks is behind what he sees as an attempt to sabotage his reputation to himself.

Representatives of British Cycling and Team Sky, including team principal Brailsford and former coach Shane Sutton, testified before the House of Commons select committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in late 2016.

The focus on cycling came about as a result of the revelation shortly after the Rio 2016 Olympics where Wiggins won his fifth career gold medal that he had benefitted from Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for the corticosteroid triamcinolone ahead of key races including the 2012 Tour de France, which he won.

The disclosure that Wiggins had been authorised to take the banned drug, ostensibly to treat his hay fever but which also has performance-enhancing effects, was made by the Russia-based Fancy Bears hacking group.

Subsequently, the Daily Mail reported that on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné, which Wiggins won, a Jiffy Bag containing medicine for his use was delivered to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the race by then British Cycling employee Simon Cope.

Brailsford, when pressed, told the select committee that it contained the decongestant Fluimucil, which is not banned but is available over the counter.

It’s an explanation that the committee declined to accept, with some suggestions that the Jiffy Bag contained triamcinolone – which in this case, would not have been administered under a TUE and would therefore constitute a potential anti-doping rule violation and, if proven, could have led to sanctions against Wiggins possibly including disqualification from results including that 2012 Tour de France victory.

In its report, it the committee said that "the whole story of the package seems implausible, to say the least," and that it believed Team Sky had crossed an ethical line in using drugs to enhance the performance of its riders and not just because of medical necessity.

However, a UK Anti-doping probe was shelved after it became impossible to ascertain what was in the package in the absence of any records.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.