Great fame and controversy generally go together. Sir Bradley Wiggins, the five-time Olympic champion cyclist has found this out personally over the last few months and especially during the last few weeks.
Since the Daily Mail published a story in October 2016 about how a 'mystery package' was delivered to the cyclist on the last day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, which he eventually won, the cyclist and his team – Team Sky - have both been under the microscope.
The newspaper claimed that a jiffy bag was delivered to Team Sky by Simon Cope, who was at the time working as a coach of British Cycling’s Women’s teams. Cope claims that he does not know the contents of the package but Sir David Brailsford, the owner of Team Sky told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in December that the bag was meant for Wiggins and contained Fluimucil, which is a legal decongestant, but the team had no documented proof that supported this claim.
The entire controversy has centered around this lack of documentation and the fact that Fluimucil is an over-the-counter drug, easily available in France.
As a part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations, being carried out by UK Anti-Doping, chief executive Nicole Sapstead told the committee that its investigation “had been hampered by a lack of records”. Brailsford admitted earlier this month that his team had not followed the necessary procedures but denied breaking anti-doping rules.
Wiggins on the 'mystery package'
Now, Sir Bradley Wiggins has also spoken out. In an interview to Sky Sports’ Soccer AM, Wiggins said, “It's the worst thing to be accused of when you're a man of my integrity.
"It's been horrible. But fortunately there's an investigation and I obviously can't say too much because that investigation will run its course and then I'll have my say.
"There's a lot to say, and it's going to shock a few people."
The champion cyclist is also under the scanner for his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for the anti-inflammatory drug triamcinoclone, for allergies and respiratory issues prior to the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
Clearly, Team Sky and Wiggins believe that they are in the clear and that the ongoing inquiry will not find any evidence of wrongdoing on their part, other than the record keeping glitches.
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