The swirl of reactions and opinions in the wake of a damaging report from Britain’s parliament continued overnight with former Sky trainer Shane Sutton.
Sutton, who worked as a coach at Sky during Wiggins’s Tour de France-winning season, called on Bradley Wiggins and a former Team Sky doctor to “come forward and tell the truth.”
“They need to explain it all to everybody,” Sutton told Sky Sports in an interview broadcast Tuesday night in England. “I call for the doctor and Brad to come forward and answer these questions, they are not for me. I am calling for him and the doctor to come forward and tell the truth.”
Sutton’s comments come in the wake of the release Monday of the highly anticipated report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in Britain’s parliamentary House of Commons.
Much of the report focused on athletics and UK Anti-Doping, but most of the headlines have zeroed in on Wiggins’s use of triamcinolone via a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) ahead of the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
The report alleged that Team Sky “crossed an ethical line” by using drugs allowed under the UCI’s existing anti-doping rules at the time in what it described as use to enhance performance rather than for medical purposes to treat asthma.
Those bombshell allegations have exploded in headlines across the UK and put more pressure on Wiggins and Team Sky. Some are calling for Sky manager Dave Brailsford to step down. The team was quick to refute the most damaging of the allegations. On Monday, Wiggins told the BBC, “not [at] any point in my career did we cross the ethical line.”
Sutton appeared before the committee in December and urged Wiggins and former Sky doctor Richard Freeman to step forward to set the record straight.
“They need to explain it all to everybody and everyone knows the word ‘cheat’ needs to be taken out of the equation,” Sutton said. “The report says he did not cheat, so come forward and tell everyone what you administered, when, and let us put it to bed.
“[Wiggins] is an [asthma] sufferer. I have seen him suffer and gasping for breath after effort,” Sutton told Sky Sport. “I saw what he was going through. I cannot answer how often he used it. Only the doctor and him can tell us.”
Sutton also denied charges from anonymous sources that pointed to larger abuse inside the team ahead of the 2012 Tour. Wiggins said the same thing in his BBC interview.
“This is malicious,” Wiggins said. “This is someone trying to smear me. These allegations, it’s the worst thing to be accused of. It’s also the hardest thing to prove you haven’t done. We’re not dealing in a legal system. I’d have more rights if I’d murdered someone.”
The report continues to churn headlines in the UK, and is a big blow to Wiggins’ legacy. Some of the luster is gone from his 2012 Tour de France victory and gold medal performance in the time trial at the 2012 London Olympics.
“It remains to be seen, doesn’t it?” Wiggins said when the BBC asked him if his legacy is tainted. “One of the biggest things was not being able to speak for the last year and a half, and in doing that, you leave people to write their own stories … I want to put this thing to bed.”