Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says “questions remain” over Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of a banned steroid before major races.
Wiggins, 36, took anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory issues, after applying for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).
He said he used the drug to put himself “back on a level playing field”.
“It’s impossible to say if he was operating in a grey area,” said former Team Sky team-mate Froome, 31.
TUEs allow the use of banned substances if athletes have genuine medical need.
Wiggins is Britain’s most decorated Olympian and became the first British winner of the Tour in 2012.
During his time at Sky, he took triamcinolone shortly before the 2011 and 2012 Tours and the 2013 Giro d’Italia, his TUEs having been approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.
“I knew he had asthma, but I wasn’t aware of his allergies,” Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015 and 2016, told cyclingnews.com.
“Questions remain over his symptoms, the choice of treatment and the related performance benefits from that treatment.
“It’s a great shame for the sport that we’re once again debating the validity of a Tour de France victory.”
Mark Cavendish, a former team-mate at Sky and a member of the British Cycling track team alongside Wiggins at the Rio Olympics this summer, said he would not “speculate” about the case.
“Whatever I think, whether I believe in him or don’t believe in him, I’m speculating,” 31-year-old Cavendish, who won world madison gold on the track with Wiggins in 2016, told BBC Sport.
“I don’t know. I’ll just let him deal with it.”
There is no suggestion that Wiggins or Team Sky broke any rules.
Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford, the British Cycling performance director until April 2014, has denied any wrongdoing, although he said this week he was “not proud” of how he had handled the allegations.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37691574