Former doctor of Bradley Wiggins questions drug prescription

The cyclist received TUE's in the lead up to races

BY Sinéad Farrell 14:00 Saturday 24 September 2016, 14:00 24 Sep 2016

Craig Watson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A former doctor for Bradley Wiggins has questioned the nature of the cyclist's reported drug prescription under the therapeutic use exemption (TUE). 

Prentice Steffen says he was 'surprised' that Wiggins was granted a TUE for a powerful corticosteroid coming up to competition, which Wiggins claims was for medical purposes.

Wiggins, along with multiple other athletes, have had their medical data leaked from the World Anti-Doping Agency database by an anonymous hacking group called The Fancy Bears. No violations have been cited in relation to any of the athletes involved. The drip feed of information from the group has provoked much debate about the concept of TUEs, but the discussion surrounding Wiggins relates to the timing.

The five-time Olympic champion availed of TUEs in the lead-up to races on a few occasions which is causing concern. He is reported to have taken the banned drug triamcinolone - a powerful corticosteroid - just days before three major races, including the 2012 Tour de France.

The findings also revealed he received permission to take the drug before the 2011 and 2013 Tour of Italy. There is no evidence of TUEs for this substance being requested before 2011 or after 2013, with Wiggins earning approval for just a standard inhaler in 2009.

Speaking about the issue, Dr Steffen said that while he could not speak about the private medical records, he was "surprised" that Wiggins was given an exemption. 

"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," Steffon told the BBC. 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."


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