Bradley Wiggins: I was paranoid about making excuses
In an extensive interview with The Guardian, Bradley Wiggins discussed his legal use of Triamcinolone, his history of nagging allergies, and the timeline for his use of the banned substance.
“I’ve got a history of allergy to pollen. I’ve got a timeline. I’ve 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.”, Wiggins said. “The 2003 Giro was the first time I really struggled with it, the first time I’d gone to a three-week stage race and noticed it, a noticeable difference 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 18th stage where he was outside the time limit].”
Wiggins has been in the spotlight since Russian hackers released details of his TUEs for triamcinolone, a steroid that alleviates allergy symptoms but has also been abused by athletes in the past for performance-enhancing gains.
“I saw 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 came with that,” he said.
“It wasn’t something I was going to shout from the rooftops and use as an excuse and say, ‘My allergies have started off again.’ That’s convenient isn’t it Brad, your allergies started when you got dropped. I didn’t mention it in the book. I’d come off a season of … I’d won everything that year. When I was writing the book I wasn’t sat there thinking, ‘I’d better bring my allergies up.’ I was flying on cloud nine after dominating the sport all year.”
Wiggins does not believe the Triamcinolone gave him an advantage during his races.
“I’d probably have been better without it, because I was already at 70 kilos at the Dauphiné having worked with Nigel Mitchell all year and got 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,”.