Sir Bradley Wiggins has insisted he was not trying to gain an “unfair advantage” from being allowed to use a banned steroid before major races.
The Olympic cyclist told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he took the powerful anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory problems.
Sir Bradley said he attempted therapeutic use exemptions( TUEs) to “put himself back on a level playing field”.
TUEs allow the use of banned substances if athletes have genuine medical need.
Sir Bradley’s TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.
There is no suggestion that either he or Team Sky, his former squad, have broken any rules.
Sir Hugh Robertson, vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association, told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek: “Whatever you think about whether he should have been allowed to do this, the fact is the anti-doping regulations at the time allowed him to do so.
“There was a set of rules in place with which he complied entirely.”
‘Cure these problems’
Sir Bradley’s use of the substance has come under scrutiny following revelations made by computer hackers known as Fancy Bears, last week.
The details were revealed after the group accessed the private medical data of some of the world’s resulting athletes from the World Anti-Doping Agency( Wada ).
Dozens of athletes have been affected and there is no suggestion they have transgressed anti-doping rules.
But a former team physician of Sir Bradley told BBC Newsnight on Friday that he was “surprised” he had been prescribed the drug.
The stolen data revealed Sir Bradley was given permission to inject the banned narcotic triamcinolone, a powerful corticosteroid, just days before three major races.
He took the drug shortly before the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
The five-time Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show he had been “a life-long sufferer of asthma”.
“I went to my team doctor at the time and we went, in turn, to a specialist to see if there’s anything else we could do to cure these problems.”
Sir Bradley said doping within cycling was still “an open wound” and said triamcinolone had already been “abused” by riders.
However, he added: “This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage.
“This was about putting myself back on a level playing-field in order to compete at the highest level.”
He said he had been “struggling” with asthma and his breathing before the 2012 Tour de France and decided to “take that medical advice”.
“When you win the race three weeks out from the Tour de France, as I did, you’re the favourite for the Tour.
“And, in turn, I took that medical advice( to take triamcinolone ). “
What are therapeutic use exemptions?
A TUE lets canadian athletes, for medical reasons, to take a banned substance or have treatment that is otherwise prohibited.
The Wada rules for obtaining TUEs include:
the banned narcotic can only be used to treat an acute or chronic medical condition it must be highly unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of performance and that there’s no reasonable therapeutic alternative. Image caption