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LONDON (AFP) — British Cycling bosses have been called to a parliamentary hearing to explain the growing trend of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) in the sport.
Damian Collins, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, told The Times on Friday the hearing will focus on grounds for granting the TUEs amid concerns about British star Bradley Wiggins’s controversial use of a powerful corticosteroid before three key races.
“As part of the inquiry into doping, the select committee wants to look at the ethics of the use of TUEs and the way this is policed by British Cycling,” Collins said.
“We can ask British Cycling about any incidents in the past where we believe it is important how the governing body oversees their sport.”
Data stolen by computer hackers after the Rio Games revealed that Wiggins, who owns five Olympic gold medals and eight overall, had received TUEs for triamcinolone — a substance which has a history of abuse in cycling and is otherwise banned — on the eve of the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France, as well as the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Wiggins and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, the British Cycling performance director until April 2014, have strenuously denied any wrongdoing, insisting each time the TUEs were medically necessary to deal with a pollen allergy that aggravates the cyclist’s long-standing asthma condition.
The TUEs also had the approval of the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, and there is no suggestion that Wiggins, who left Sky in April 2015, or the team have broken any rules.