Wiggins:’ I was paranoid about stimulating excuses. It wasn’t something I was going to shout from the rooftops’

Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner, has given the most complete rationale yet for the controversy over his legal use of banned drugs to the Guardian William Fotheringham. This is the full transcript of their interview

William Fotheringham: Brad, can you explain about the allergy which is behind these TUEs ?

Bradley Wiggins: Ive got a history of allergy to pollen. Ive got a timeline. Ive been racking my brains for the last few days right back to the first time I had real problems with it, problems it was causing me in races. The 2003 Giro was the first time I truly struggled with it, the first time Id gone to a three-week stage race and noticed it, a noticeable change to performance. More than that, when I had a severe attack, the day after I was wiped out[ Wiggins was eliminated from the 2003 Giro after the 18 th stage where he was outside the time limit ].

WF : What exactly is it? BW : Uncontrollable sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, the urge to rub my eyes constantly, and in doing that the eyes becoming bloodshot extreme. My breathing became restricted, like exhaling through a straw at times. The first person I actually consultation with this and made aware of it was Dr Roger Palfreeman who was the then British Cycling physician. All that would be on my medical records at BC, I assume.

I completed a series of lung function tests in 2003 in his office, the results of which were sent to the UCI and he pushed hard with the French Federation I was racing for a French squad at that time and the UCI. Im not sure what it would have been called but it was the equivalent of todays TUE. Back then at a pro team it would be written in your health volume, it would be for two inhalers, fluticazone and salbutamol it was the red inhaler basically. It was all agreed, stamped off and sent to the French Federation.

In 2004 I went through the same process again, but I required authorisation to compete at the summer Olympics under IOC doping regulations. So I had to complete another series of lung function exams, at the Manchester velodrome conducted by Andrea Wooles, who was in charge of that. Shes now married to the Canadian performance director Richard Wooles.

Again, I did the lung function tests, all was well and I got authorisation from the IOC. From 2005 to 2008 those applications were renewed each January to cover me for the season. They were all to be undertaken by Roger Palfreeman, because I was riding for three different squads through that era.

So my continual touch-base was always back in Manchester with BC, because of the language thing. The French doctors were always changing. By 2008 I was with the American team High Road, again there was a series of various types of physicians so it was always easier to hold that continuing with the doctor[ at BC] so there were no mistakes. Every January I was certified to use these inhalers.

Then up to 2009, I joined Garmin, another American squad. Through that year I had contact with various each member of Garmins medical squad at races, but my main point of contact remained Dr Roger Palfreeman. In that period it was always Roger.

Bradley
Bradley Wiggins reaches the summit of Mont Ventoux during the 2009 Tour de France, with Garmin. Photograph: Christophe Karaba/ EPA
[ At this phase Wiggins presents interviewer his personal page on the Adams system the computer system through which he monitors his whereabouts for random testing. The TUEs are listed on the left of the web page. They tally with those leaked by the Fancy Bears hackers .] BW : When the TUE applications are granted, they are uploaded to my Adams system, so that is what I live by every day. I cant do anything, administer anything, take anything unless I have authorisation clearly in front of me on my database. Thats where my strict liability aims as canadian athletes. I enter my hour slots[ accessibility for random testing] each day and whatever goes into my body, unless I have the confirmation that says its all right Brad Ive watched it, until its on there WF: We need to keep going through the allergies . BW : In 2010 I
joined Team Sky, late in the day. By then Richard Freeman had been taken on at BC[ Dr Palfreeman had resigned in springtime of 2010 ]. He also became the Team Sky doctor, doing that with the BC job as it were. That kept it all in home. Most of the team was[ from BC] then. So that was that.

In 2010 I raced the Giro and the Tour which coincided with the pollen season. Historically for me it was May, June, July. Even though I performed well in the[ 2010] Giro, won the prologue, by the time we moved further south the symptoms became, as per usual at the Giro. As I said in 2003, 2005, it was always the same. I was under continual medication as Id always been so it was two Clarityns per day, one in the morning, one at night, nasal sprayings, inhalers two in the morning two at night, eye fells again as and when. I was on the maximum for over-the-counter products. I struggled in the Tour that year with it, a mixture of allergies, crashing, a mixed bag of stuff really.

[ Wiggins finished 40 th in the Giro, having won the prologue in Amsterdam; he finished 23 rd in the Tour ] BW : Then it was 2011. I raced through to Paris-Roubaix that year, had a knee trauma and needed a breaking after that. I didnt race again until 26 April, the Tour of Romandie. It was pretty wet and cold all week so I didnt actually display any symptoms. We ran straight-out from there to Tenerife on 13 May. Thats a volcanic landscape so Ive never fought with allergies up there, theres no grass etc.

I came back from there, did the national day trial championships week after on 21 May, had first signs of symptoms being back home about nine days before I went to the Bayern Rundfahrt in Germany. I did Bayern Rundfahrt and won the time trial, the second-last stage, but Id been affected by the pollen all week, it was quite a hot week, that time of year. I felt Id lost the race because of it. I was starting to go really well, off the back of the altitude training etc. But Id had quite a vicious assault with it earlier in the week and it felt like it always did leave me feeling a little bit weak the next day.

I recovered enough in time to win the time trial, went home for four days before travelling off to the Dauphin Libr. Dr Freeman was the race physician for us there. I hadnt considered him since Paris-Nice;[ my] symptoms continued, as in hows it going Brad? Im genuinely struggling with these allergies, I had a terrible assault last week. As per usual in races the doctor will always check: have you got any minor niggles, anything we can do to help you at this stage?

So I was still complaining of the usual symptoms, the standard stuff, but the form was good and I was in a good place after being at altitude and everything.

He suggested at that time that when you go back to Manchester lets go and watch an independent expert and see if there is anything you can change of the drug youre already on, and have been on for a number of years now, or if there is anything were not doing. Hell do blood tests, operate a series of tests on you and assure what goes of it.

I was quite sceptical at this stage because Id learned to live with and manage this for my whole career pretty much all the tablets, nasal sprayings, eyedrops etc. I didnt believe much more of it, did the Dauphin, won the Dauphin, still had the usual symptoms throughout but it wasnt something that, other than asking the doctor can I have some more Clarityn or can I have another nasal spray, or my inhalers nearly running out, it wasnt something that I was hollering from the rooftops or complaints about because I had learnt to manage this, although ineffectively. It was something that Id learned to live with. Id had to get on and manage this.

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Wiggins during the Dauphin prologue in 2011, which he would go on to win. Photograph: Laurent Cipriani/ AP

So after the Dauphin[ which finished on 12 June] we ran straight to[ the Italian ski resort of] Sestriere for a week training at altitude to top it up, so I didnt go home.

I crashed on the last day at the camp on the descent of the Col de la Croix de Fer, so I travelled home straight afterwards, the next couple of days was about get therapy, physio, attaining sure everything was all right before I had to travel to the national road race a couple of weeks later. So I did all that. I heard nothing more of going and watching functional specialists.

WF: Had you insured the specialist at this stage ? BW : I hadnt been home yet. So I did all that[ before the national championship Wiggins also attended a Team Sky press day in Richmond ], went to the nationals[ which were in Stamfordham, Northumberland on 26 June ], won the nationals, and coming back from the national I insured the specialist then on 28 June at the Beaumont hospital in Bolton. This was the first time Id been home long enough and it was only a couple of days until we travelled to the Tour[ which started on 2 July ]. I insured the specialist, he did a full examination of me, blood tests, this that and another, I went home and he compiled his report for Richard Freeman. Thats the report he made to Richard Freeman. Upon doing that the drug he suggested in there would need an application for a TUE. I was still unaware at this stage of what was happening because it was the first time Id considered functional specialists. Richard called me and said: youve been granted authorisation for a TUE based on watching Dr Hargreaves and that was that. He showed me the TUE application, he showed me the TUE certificate. [ This is what features on the Fancy Bears website .] And it was administered. At that time it was like this is going to cure This is going to go a long way towards you not having any problems for the next three weeks now.

So that was 2011. That was the first time Id been granted permission for the TUE. Obviously I crashed out of that[ 2011] Tour .

Then into 2012. Patently[ a good] start to the year[ Wiggins won a stage in the Tour of Algarve and won Paris-Nice in early March ]. In April we were in Tenerife, you came up there to do an interview I remember [ in fact Fotheringham attained the trip in mid-May, the piece appearing in the Guardian on 22 May ].

No symptoms up in April, up in Tenerife. Straight back from Tenerife to the Tour of Romandie, I won the first and last stages, we were up in the mountains and I didnt display any symptoms.

And then we find Pre-empting coming into May, June, July we find Dr Hargreaves again, went back to see the specialist for a second series of tests, blood results etc, and again left that, you dont get the findings

Back to Majorca in mid-May with the family educate, went straight from there to Tenerife from May 14 -2 5 [ this was in fact when the Guardian interview took place ], no symptoms up there.

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Wiggins trains in the mountains of Majorca in 2012. Photo: Bryn Lennon/ Getty Images

Then I came back end of May, started to get the onset of symptoms then, once I was back home, we live surrounded by fields and timbers, flowers and things so straight away Id come out of that bubble in Tenerife and was straight into the onset of symptoms. Started all the usual, Clarityn, this that and the other, went to the Dauphin, symptoms carried on as per usual, won the Dauphin, then on to

WF: How is it you can win the Dauphin in spite of the symptoms ? BW : As I said before Id learnt to manage it. And some days were worse than others, some days Id be fine, Id come in the bus, Id be absolutely fine depending where we were. If we were on top of a mountain itd be completely different to if we were finishing in a town, a small village or something. You could never predict.

One thing I would constantly have is a blocked nose. Id be constantly like I was full of a cold. Particularly when I was lying down, having a massage on my front, my nose would fill up and you could hear it in my voice talking afterwards. People would say, have you got a cold, youre not ill are you? No, Ive got hay fever, allergies. It was just a constant thing. That didnt stop me from being able to perform and train, it was kind of A plenty of it I saw was a build up. If I was symptomatic for a long period over day I found that I really weakened off and Id notice the effects more. But if Id been somewhere like Tenerife for two weeks , no symptoms That year I travelled a lot, I was either in Majorca or I was in Tenerife and very rarely at home.

WF: Its basically that same picture throughout 2012 and 2013 ? BW : In 2012 when we assured Dr Hargreaves We saw him on 8 May that year. Thats his report from that. Richard would have applied for a TUE again, we assume. I havent find Richards records of when he made the applications, Ive merely ensure the 2011 one. So that was that really. I simply carried on with my day undertaking really , not knowing whether marriage be granted a TUE or whether we wouldnt be granted a TUE, whether a TUE application had been built. It was kind of I left that to the medical squad. They discussed these things.

I was in a squad, Id been not only in Team Sky but British Cycling before that so I knew how these things would operate. Theyve discussed with you in the past, the RDTs,[ Rider Development Teams; a forum within British Cycling where coach-and-fours and experts dealing with a particular rider will go through issues such as senior management] where they would go through each rider with the whole supporting crew around them coach-and-four, physio, this that and the other. Wheres this rider at, what can we do to help him at this stage?

So I knew these things were discussed, I knew that at some point person would say OK so where is Brad at now? Is he on top of his allergies? What is he doing this week? It was in Year in Yellow in the film Dave[ Brailsford ], Shane[ Sutton ], Tim[ Kerrison ], sitting in the office talking about my training Brads power, where is he up to? I simply carried on with my day undertaking until I was told youre doing this or youre doing that.

We didnt come back from the Dauphin[ which finished on June 10 ], we went straight-out to Chtel for post-Tour[ sic he must actually entail pre-Tour] camp, recon, looking at the time trial etc, ran straight from there to Majorca with the family as we used to do then to get a week in before the Tour, then is coming from Majorca on June 25 which was a Monday. We set off for the Tour on a Wednesday that year which would have been the 27 th, by which hour Richard had contacted me and said we had been granted a TUE based on Dr Hargreaves report. We had thought that was the best course of action to take. Id been granted a TUE for the same drug I was on last year. So that was that, that was 2012. It was administered

WF: Youve painted a pretty consistent painting here

BW : This is my history, as I see it, for my allergies. This aint me concealing behind anyone else, this is as I have lived, being with different teams throughout the years, until I was in the care of Dr Richard Freeman at BC. He was the first physician to actually get me to a specialist for that.

WF: In 2010 why didnt you have the TUE?

BW : It wasnt suggested to me. Aside from complaining about the normal symptoms Im on Clarityn, are you able give me some of that, have we got loadings on the race when we go to the Giro or the Tour? Can we have the nasal spray that Im on? Just checking the usual stuff, eyedrops, red inhalers, blue salbutamol inhalers never at any point was it suggested that we go and insure functional specialists. At the end of the day I was the asset in that period, the team leader, concentrating on training and everything else. The team of people around me, they all had a different job to do. WF: Did you know what Kenalog was? You knew it was cortisone ? BW : Yes.

WF: That didnt fear you in any way?

BW : I believe There is a taboo around it but its erm As I told, I suppose I said it on the Andrew Marr Show, my job as canadian athletes when someone tells right this is the course, this is what Dr Hargreaves has recommended we take, weve shall be used for the TUE, youve been granted authorisation to take it, but what is it? Of course. You ask, I always ask whats going in my body. Kenalog, cortisone in other words. You get told its that tri whatever it is[ triamcinolone ], in other words cortisone. All right. Then its the same old thing: “theyre using” that to treat hay fever allergies because at the end of the day its an antihistamine, a very strong, powerful antihistamine. [ This is not actually the suit, Kenalog and its ilk are synthetic hormones which act on the entire immune reply; an antihistamine specifically counters the effects of the inflammatory chemical histamine .]

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Wiggins on the BBCs Andrew Marr Show last weekend. Photograph: Handout/ Reuters

What doses are they devoting? 40 milligrams? Isnt that what they always are applied to usual topics, youve read it in the book, isnt that what they used to use? Yes, but they were taking that in much larger amounts, as and when, to perform or to lose weight. They were basically abusing this drug.

This was for 40 mg, intramuscularly, and having been authorised to use it as well, much like the inhalers which are corticosteroids as well, other people that have had bee stingings that have to have pen-whatever it is[ probably referring to EpiPen, used for bee stings ]. So I was fully aware of this medication and the taboo surrounding it all the misuse and the abuse of this medication in the past.

WF: And that didnt worry you?

BW : No, it was for a very specific thing to treat something that was historically a problem for me and could be quite a serious problem for me. The problem with it was it was unpredictable. I couldnt say, well, this was going to happen on this day or wonder what the climate is going to if we are going to have a hot Tour, if were going to have all this stuff floating around the air, that the helicopters chopping up from flying over.

At that stage it was quite clear I was going well, all of a sudden Id become a potential favourite for the Tour de France, or certainly get on the podium.

Id returned to the sort I was in in 2009 and the only thing that could really prevent me from achieving that was if I struggled with allergies during the race. It happens. It happened with Quintana this year. He wasnt himself because of it or he cited those problems. It had been on certain days in the past a real problem for me.

WF: Why didnt you mention the allergy in the book? Its not in the book. [ This is a reference to the account of 2010-12 My Time ghostwritten by the interviewer ]. And it wasnt there when we did the interviews for the book . BW : To be honest, this was something Id lived with since I was 15 years of age. Id had attacks when I was 15 at adolescent races in Norwich and stuff in the summer. My mother suffers from it terribly. Its a genetic thing. Its something Id got used to. Its not something I was going to stand on Tv in 2010 and tell Ill be honest with you, I remember doing an interview at the top of a mountain, Ax-Trois-Domaines. Id had a shocking day, I remember coming down the descent sneezing me head off, blowing snot out of my nose, unable to breath, I got fallen on the last climbing and got to the finish.[ Australian journalist] John Trevorrow did an interview with me, I just said, Im fucked, empty, Ive got nothing left.

It was all in reference to poor sort, struggling with allergies but Im not going to sit there I was paranoid about making excuses: Ah, my allergies have kicked in. Id learned to live with this thing. It wasnt something I was going to shout from the rooftops and use as an excuse and say, my allergies have started off again. Thats convenient isnt it Brad, your allergies started when you got dropped.

I didnt mention it in the book. Id come off a season of Id won everything that year. When I was writing the book I wasnt sat there thinking, Id better bring my allergies up. I was flying on cloud nine after predominating the sport all year. It wasnt something that I brought to mind.

Like I told, Ive lived with this. All the doctors over the years Ive been with in various teams will verify that I was always complaining of allergies. It will be in my medical records, the things they devoted to me.

Wiggins faces combat for reputation after Fancy Bears leak.

WF: Who within Sky knew that you were having the triamcinolone injections?

BW : Other than my linked with Richard Freeman, who was my point of linked with the medical team, because of his proximity in terms of him being based in Manchester, encompassing BC and Sky, I dont know.

I assume that everything I did was discussed around a table with everyone who had a job to do with me, whether that was Tim Kerrison on the coaching front, Shane Sutton on the mentoring front, whoever was taking care of the physio at the time, Dan Guillemette[ lead physiotherapist at Team Sky ].

These performance sessions that they have and take notes from, I assume that all that was discussed, but I dont know because I wasnt there. My main point of contact was Richard Freeman. After that I dont know what was discussed outside of that office.

I only assume that because I know the detail that goes into these things. Everything is discussed in terms of wheres Brad this week, In Majorca with the family but this is the training programme hes been given, hes just seen such and such a chiropractor so that we know hes on top of those problems, whats the status with the niggle he was discussing last week. So all these things are discussed in order to deliver a performance. The doctor was part of that, so I assume that

WF: Did you have any injections out of competitor ? BW : No. For what?

WF: For this?

BW : No, Id test positive. If it was in my urine[ without a TUE] Id go positive for cortisone. No style. Liability stops with me. Until Ive get certification, authorisation from Wada and the UCI that I can take that , nothing was ever administered into my body without that.

WF: Do you understand why people think this seems suspicious?

BW : Yeah, I understand because Ive ensure other I ensure the hoo-hah a couple of years ago with Froome with the Tour of Romandie inhaler and the last-minute TUE, racing on it. I saw the hysteria that caused and I understand in the post-Armstrong all that went with that. Yeah, I do understand. But what I dont understand is that youve automatically just assumed that this was a performance enhancer. Some people, a lot of people

WF: Im not presuming anything, Im just asking

BW : What Im saying is the loss of perspective and looking at it in the context of everything with your medical records and expert reports rather than it just going crazy and wild. I refer back to the 2011 Tour, I actually think it was a detriment to my performance. I actually said in the book that in the 2011 Tour I guessed I was going to fade away[ he refers to loss of kind in the race before his accident on page 62 of the paperback of My Time ].

The problem was that thing is a catabolic steroid and it may have disadvantaged me Id probably have been better without it, because I was already at 70 kilos at the Dauphin having worked with Nigel Mitchell all year and get down to this weight, starving myself doing seven-hour rides without breakfast and I was climbing well but I was borderline, and in taking this I cured one problem but gave myself another.

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Wiggins crashes out of the 2011 Tour de France. Photo: Christophe Ena/ AP

I said to you in the book that as the first week went on I felt like I was get weaker and weaker, I didnt have the power. Plainly I crashed out so I will never know, but I never felt theres a chapter in the book about that, I merely thought it used to go the other style and in crashing out that put a stop to that. This stuff I mean, I was borderline there anyway, right down probably below what was ideal for me and I think this just tip-off me over the edge.

WF: There is another side to the time line which is that at the end of 2010 the team hires Doctor Leinders .[ Geert Leinders was given a life forbid by anti-doping bureaux for a string of infringements relating to the period before he joined Sky. There have never been any allegations of improper practice relating to Leinderss spell at Sky in 2011 and 2012, but the ruling on his time at the Dutch Rabobank team from 2002 -0 9 was detailed and damning .] BW : Yes. WF: It has been documented that [ while at Dutch team Rabobank from 2002 to 2009] Dr Leinders administered riders with triamcinolone to enhance their performance. The question has to be asked, did Dr Leinders know about your TUEs ? BW : I dont know, thats the truth.

WF: Did you ever speak to him about the TUEs?

BW : I never personally spoke to him about that.

WF: Did he ever ask you about your allergies?

BW : Never. The only person I ever spoke to about my TUEs was my doctor Richard Freeman. I dont know, as I told, whether that was discussed around a table with the medical squad. I dont know if the medical squad had meetings together regularly to discuss all the riders because there were four or five physicians on the team at that stage. So I dont know. He never spoke to me about it. I can recall two races in 2011, three races that I did with Leinders, that was Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Romandie, and the Vuelta or half the Vuelta, I think they changed physicians halfway through. That was never discussed with me, never.

WF: But given your symptoms, would he have known?

BW : I dont know in truth. I dont know. Other than having the medication I was on. But at those races I had Paris-Roubaix I had no problems, I crashed at that race

WF: But would he have watched you taking the medication?

BW : He wouldnt have seen me. I was on an inhaler. I mean[ Sunday Times journalist] David Walsh knew we were all on inhalers in 2013, seven of us.

WF: The question also originates, why did you not have the same TUE in 2014. One of the problems with the TUEs is the timing. It is as simple as that. Why did the TUEs stop in 2014?

BW : The triamcinolone , not the inhaler one? The inhaler ones stopped because you didnt need one any more

WF: Because it becomes legal

BW : Because I was doing the Tour of California that year, I did Paris-Roubaix early season, again no problems, as you know I get ninth, then I was doing Tour of California. Which one in here[ looks at the medical letters] says which one Im allergic to? Timothy, grass isnt it?

WF: Thats on the Fancy Bears PDFs

BW : Basically I went from Paris-Roubaix to a race in Italy before the Tour of California. I went to Giro del Trentino, then Tour of California training camp, we did nine days there before the race started. So the first of May I went out there and had no symptoms at all “were in” out there for three weeks.

The doctor out there at the time, cant remember who it was, did the race, anyway I didnt need medication I wasnt taking Clarytin, I wasnt displaying any symptoms out there.

At the end of that race, that was when I knew that I wasnt doing the Tour de France. Dave[ Brailsford] came out to the end of the race. There were issues with the team whether Id construct selection or not, all the stuff that went with that.

We stayed in America for another week after that. It was during that week I decided Id come back and have a crack at the track programme for the Commonwealth Games. All that stuff with me going on the BBC was the end result of knowing for a long period then talking with Dave and him telling, why dont you go and do the Commonwealth Games? Do the pursuit and team quest. And thats when went back to the CG.

I joined the way squad and was training indoors most of the time. I wasnt displaying the symptoms or they werent problematic, it wasnt a huge issue other than going out on the road around here employing Clarityn, eyedrops. I was indoors, I wasnt having problems with my breathing, I wasnt complaining about it, I didnt need to go and ensure a specialist or anything.

It was the same in 2015. I knew Id finish at Paris-Roubaix, I knew Id go and do the Hour Record project and 90% of that is going to be indoors. Even at the height of the pollen season, 5 June[ it was actually 7 June ], doing the Hour I knew it wasnt going to be something that would potentially ruin the Hour for me, because as I said it was indoors, it wasnt a problem.

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Wiggins during his record hour cycling endeavor at the Lee Valley Velopark, London. Photo: John Walton/ PA
WF: Ive heard from two different people that at the end of 2010 there was a change in the medical operation at Sky. Did you notice significant differences ?[ There have never been any allegations of improper practise relating to Leinderss spell at Sky in 2011 and 2012. ] BW : Other than one or two new doctors , no. That was something that wasnt noticeable as a rider. It may have changed the route things were done among the medical team. As a rider , no, Id had 10 years of doing it, turning up at motorcycle races, the majority of members of the time a different physician at that race, on-race doctor, but other than that no , nothing different to the year before other than different faces because patently[ Sky carer] Txema[ Gonzalez] had died the year before[ at the Vuelta ].[ The former Sky physician] David Hulse had left but no, Im trying to think of the medical squad at that time, Dr Richard Freeman, Leinders went on board , no, I didnt notice anything different.

WF: Did you know about the decision to hire Dr Leinders?

BW : No.

WF: No one spoke about that to you?

BW : Id had a shit year. My grandad succumbed at the end of the year. Id lost all contact with the team. I got a massive bollocking at the end of the year from Dave, wed moved here, I was doing house run and stuff. Cycling was way off the spectrum at that point for me. I felt like Id got chided all season for under-performing

The first time, I recollect running straight-out from the Dave Rayner[ Fund] dinner that year to the first camp, the get-together which was down Reading way, Marlow, turned up there and had my pre season meeting with the managers: what do you want to do next year? I told I wanted a complete change, want to get do Paris-Roubaix, De Panne , not worry about the Tour, try and do something early season, something in Paris-Nice.

We had all our pre-season ECGs and everything all on site, because I had missed all that the previous year because Id joined so late, Id missed that first get-together because I wasnt released from Garmin until December. We had our ECGs, all that, and that was the first time I ensure Geert Leinders there. I didnt know who he was or where hed come from, other than that some of the riders knew him

WF: Because hed been at Rabobank

BW : So that was that. I didnt truly suppose anything of it other than saying hello to these new faces, I couldnt just waiting get out of there, because at that time I was still coming to words with everything. WF: Do you understand people who say that having these injections was unethical. Not illegal, but unethical . BW : Erm It seemed without all the context of someones history then I could see that on paper perhaps, especially the way some of it has been reported. Its is still very sensationalised in parts and very personal in other parts. Straight off, the style cycling is today, yes, yes. Because it doesnt take much in cycling in this day and age now because of whats gone before. So I understand that. WF: But this is a substance that [ confessed doper and anti-doping campaigner] David Millar, for example, is saying should be banned . BW : Yes. But as I said before Id like to know in all honesty with David, if thats the lawsuit, what doses were they taking then? Lets have some more specifics please. When did you take it, how much did you take, how did you feel the day after when you took it? Merely to put some context to this dosage for this specific reason.

Because its all right saying things like that because that get people riled, but being implemented in the correct way for specific things it has a place like anything in medicine.

So I would say its all right Jrg Jaksche telling oh well we used to use that.[ German former professional cyclist Jaksche confessed in 2007 to blood doping; in an interview with the website cyclingtips, he stated that he had use the same procedure]

Well how much did you[ Millar] used to use and when? Did you use it before the time trial in 2003 in the Tour when you won the time trial?[ Millar won the 2003 hour trial from Pornic to Nantes at a time when he was doping ]. Did you use it that day? When did you take it – the night before? Did you take it the morning of? How much did you take? What other times did you use it? How much did you used to take before you used to go out and try to lose two kilos in a week? So more specifics around that to give context to the whole situation. That alone, that doesnt say to you anything. And then what else were you taking at that time in conjunction with that? Was it only cortisone in that period? Was everyone abusing cortisone? Or was it in conjunction with EPO, with testosterone, all those other things?

WF: What about when someone like [ Dutch professional] Tom Dumoulin who, as far as I can meet rides for a squad which is pretty straight up on its ethics, from what Ive heard about Giant-Alpecin they have a very distinct ethical approach, when someone like that tells, it stinks, how do you react to that ? BW : Yeah. Well, I think hes on the ground racing at the moment when he got asked the question. You have to ask how these questions are loaded to these guys. This is a guy whos get many, many years left in the athletic What if he tells , no, Ive got no problem with that, if being implemented in the right context. Well would you use it then? You know how the question is loaded. It has to be put in context.

For someone just to come up and say, do you condone this using of cortisone? a lot of riders in this day and age, especially young riders, are not going to say, well I do actually. Anyone who can take a step back from this and run, well actually Id have to look at the instance, I cant comment at the moment, Id have to look at the whole suit in perspective of why it was used In the same way it was reported the other day about Fabian Cancellara, 120 mg of prednisolone three days before the Vuelta

WF: For a bee sting

BW : But in the context of that, three days before the Vuelta, whats that about? And then its not until Trek-Segafredo release the pictures of him and you think bloody hell his face , no wonder he needed[ it ], so I think it must continue to be put in context of everything. I understand why that question is being asked but I also know what bike riders are like today and there is a fear factor around saying anything other than no, I wouldnt.

WF: How would you have felt if anyone you were riding against in the Tour de France, lets say in 2009, had been documented as doing this?

BW : Well, again youd got to see the whole occurrence. Youd want to know why it had been granted. Thats probably a question for the UCI how many people are on TUEs in those Tours? Perhaps the UCI should say this is well why he was on this TUE, but then there is sensitive medical record here. Some people might have sensitive medical a matter that they dont want people to know about. Unfortunately we are carrying the can for everything that went before here and statements like Dave saying, this stuff should be banned.

WF: Do you think TUEs should be made public?

BW : No I dont , no. Because again WF: I dont mean should they be leaked by the Fancy Bears, what I entail is should it be noted publicly how many TUEs a squad has and when? Perhaps not naming the riders? Or listing them by squad, date, substance, again without naming the riders? For clarity . BW : How many people are on TUEs for a start would add context to whats going on in the peloton at the moment but I suppose just hurling them out there, this is what hes on, this is what hes on, thats ludicrous. I mean theres all sorts, people might have sexually transmitted diseases that they are on TUEs for, thats too sensitive for some people. Thats more of a question for the governing bodies and Wada: how do they manage this TUE system across all athletics , not only cycling? Whats the application process it goes to three independent doctors and they all have to sign this TUE off. WF: But that wasnt the case when you had yours because the TUE panel didnt come in until afterward . BW : I dont know who signed it off or who it went through at that stage.

WF: Im told it was easier to get one before 2014.

BW : Until I get the authorisation back I dont know what process its gone through at that particular hour. I was concentrating on winning “the member states national” road race or getting ready for the Tour, I was out in Majorca training with the family, I wasnt guessing I wonder where that is at the moment or what its doing. That was the medical teams job. WF: Its been pointed out rightly that in the book we wrote together it says specifically that you havent had any injections apart from your vaccinations. How did that come about ? BW : As Ive just said with the cortisone question, with Tom Dumoulin being asked that question The scenery at that time was very much Lance Armstrong, needle forbids, this that and another. In my eyes at that time when I was asked that question it was very much have you ever used needles WF: I have a note which says quite specifically that I was going to ask you if youd had injections other than IVs for recovery in the past, diarrhoea or whatever, to clarify that . BW : I was still guessing it was loaded in the sense of, if people ask have you used needles, I always automatically assume its for intravenous, EPO, those things, testosterone, iron to support EPO use.

In my intellect it was always loaded and associated with doping, whenever I was asked that. It was around that time, the UCI had brought in a needle banning and the latter are for intravenous injections on races. This is four years ago as well, dont forget, Im trying to think of the landscape at the time, Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrongs about to go down, hes about to lose everything.

Id just come off the Tour that year, that press conference. In my mind it was always about defending[ myself from] that doping culture, everything that went with the doping culture or riders carrying washbags around with their own syringes in and injecting themselves.

People never asked around that time have you ever been injected by a doctor or a physician for medical reasons? Thats a quite different question to do you use needles?

Youve got to remember at that time, back when I turned professional, people were still carrying needles around with them in washbags. Early 2000 s was a crazy day for that. Riders were doing it for themselves, injecting vitamins or as weve seen since the Armstrong thing, hanging drips on the walls.[ Riccardo] Ricc virtually killed himself putting it in the fridge himself and storing blood, that to me is: have you ever use needles? That whole taboo around it, the landscape at that time, with Armstrong and having only won the Tour de France, it was always steering towards that I took all the questions as steered towards that. I always felt I was having to defend myself, especially arriving off the back of the Tour de France that year where it was, what are Sky up to?

WF: Do you understand that in terms of the triamcinolone injections, we are dealing with a grey area? Do you get that?

BW : Im trying to get my head around why people see it like that. But I also see it in my eyes as: Ive got medical evidence to support the problem I had and that was the best course of treatment in order to stop these problems. [ First part of interview has come to an end. We move on to the build-up to the 2013 Giro dItalia at Wigginss request ] BW : So into 2013 I was going for the Giro dItalia. Into April it became about how are we going to manage this if I get problems here now? So we went back to see the expert again and he conducted another report based on blood tests Id had at that time and his last paragraph here is [ Wiggins presents interviewer the letter from the expert, which clearly states that the treatment with Kenalog will provide relief from the symptoms for a period of 6-8 weeks ]

BW : The funny thing is I came out of that Giro, having crashed and had a sore knee and stuff, I came home, I aimed up having another cortisone injection in Leeds in a hospital for the knee that had got inflamed and stuff, so I didnt race for another 5-6 weeks, until the Tour of Poland after that[ Wiggins pulled out of the Giro on May 17; the Tour of Poland 2013 ran from 27 July until 3 August when Wiggins won the time trial stage in Krakow]

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