Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins struck back at the rising volume of doping questions from his critics on Friday in his blog for The Guardian.
“If I doped I would potentially stand to lose everything. It’s a long list. My reputation, my livelihood, my marriage, my family, my house. Everything I have achieved, my Olympic medals, my world titles, the CBE I was given,” he wrote on Friday. “I would have to take my children to the school gates in a small Lancashire village with everyone looking at me, knowing I had cheated, knowing I had, perhaps, won the Tour de France, but then been caught.”
Wiggins has felt the weight of vague, accusatory questions about doping on the social media site Twitter since taking control of the yellow jersey at La Planche de Belles Filles on the race’s first mountaintop finish on Saturday. Those questions bled into a post-race press conference the next day when Wiggins shot back with a an explicative-laden rant that he acknowledged on Friday didn’t communicate his position well. On Tuesday, journalist Paul Kimmage questioned Sky’s and Wiggins’ transparency in an interview with VeloNation.com.
“The insinuations make me angry, because I thought people would look back into my history, the things I’ve said in the past, such as at the start of the 2006 Tour when I turned up for a first go at the race and Operación Puerto kicked off, what I said when Floyd Landis went positive, and what I said when I was chucked out with Cofidis after Cristian Moreni tested positive in 2007,” he wrote.
The Tour’s overall leader professed that while the weight of professional sport has driven many riders to use performance-enhancing drugs, the other facets of his live are too valuable:
“That is not something I wish to live with. Doping would simply be not worth it. This is only sport we are talking about. Sport does not mean more to me than all those other things I have. Winning the Tour de France at any cost is not worth the possibility of losing all that.
“I am not willing to risk all those things I’ve got in my life. I do it because I love it. I don’t do it for a power trip: at the end of the day, I’m a shy bloke looking forward to taking my son to summer rugby camp after the Tour, where he could maybe bump into his hero, Sam Tomkins. That’s what’s keeping me going here. What I love is doing my best and working hard. If I felt I had to take drugs, I would rather stop tomorrow, go and ride club 10-mile time trials, ride to the cafe on Sundays, and work in Tesco stacking shelves.”