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Team doctor questions Wiggins medical data

Press AssociationPress Association 24/09/2016

One of Sir Bradley Wiggins' former team doctors has expressed surprise at the decision to allow him to use a triamcinolone ahead of three major races.

Prentice Steffen questioned the decision of the International Cycling Union to grant Wiggins a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone, which he was permitted to take just days before the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as the 2011 Tour and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Steffen was Wiggins' doctor at Garmin Slipstream, with whom he finished fourth in the 2009 Tour de France before the Briton joined Team Sky

Steffen has told the BBC's Newsnight program the leaked details of Wiggins' TUEs don't "look good".

He said: "I was surprised to see there were TUEs documented for intramuscular triamcinolone just before three major events - two Tours de France and one Tour d'Italia.

"You do have to think it is kind of coincidental that a big dose of intramuscular long-acting corticosteroids would be needed at that ... exact time before the most important race of the season.

"I would say certainly now in retrospect it doesn't look good, it doesn't look right from a health or sporting perspective."

Wiggins' TUEs, exemptions which allow athletes to take substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency if they have a medical need, were released by Russian hackers.

A group known as The Fancy Bears have leaked the private medical records of dozens of athletes after gaining access to the WADA database.

There is no suggestion any athlete has broken anti-doping rules but Wiggins, the five-time Olympic champion, has found himself the focus of the most scrutiny.

A spokesperson for the 36-year-old said: ''There's nothing new here. Everyone knows Brad suffers from asthma.

"His medical treatment is BC (British Cycling) and UCI (International Cycling Union) approved and like all Team GB athletes he follows WADA regulations to the letter.

''The leak of these records is an attempt to undermine the credibility of WADA and that's something for them to deal with.''

Team Sky, the British team Wiggins left in 2015, said all of its TUE applications have been ''managed and recorded in line'' with the rules.

Wiggins' asthma and pollen allergies are well documented but the revelation he three times received injections of a drug intended for acute allergic reactions on the eve of his biggest race of the season has attracted criticism.

Wiggins will personally address the controversy for the first time when he appears on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 on Sunday.

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