Team Sky's Geraint Thomas believes it's time to ban therapeutic use exemptions

The Welsh star was speaking at the start of the 100th Giro d'Italia in Sardinia

BY Newstalk 08:00 Friday 5 May 2017, 8:00 5 May 2017

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

Team Sky cyclist Geraint Thomas believes the time has come for the sport's governing body to consider scrapping therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for riders.

The Welsh star was speaking at the start of the 100th Giro d'Italia in Sardinia, where he is aiming to become the first ever British winner.

Team Sky has been mired in controversy since hackers revealed that his former team-mate Bradley Wiggins used a banned corticosteroid for his asthma on three occasions, which is permitted under the so-called TUE system.

Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012 and no longer rides for Team Sky, which has been strongly criticised over the affair, particularly for its poor record-keeping.

"I would be happy for that (to ban TUEs)," Thomas told Sky News.

"It's such a grey area. Everyone is debating whether Brad needed it or not. Get rid of it and you don't have that issue. The main issue is the system and the rules around it. It's not clear cut."

Geraint Thomas (left) speaks with Team Sky teammate, Chris Froome at last year's Olympic Games in Rio. Image: Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images

The two-time Olympic champion added that he had never used a TUE in his glittering career and finds it "tiresome" that reporters keep asking him questions about Wiggins.

"I can speak for myself and I do everything the right way," he continued.

"That's down to the mentality I have been brought up with. I just know that until the end of time, whatever results I got, they will always stand."

He added: "It does get a bit tiresome when every interview you do harps back to that (Wiggins' use of TUEs). That's quite frustrating.

"The whole story is about him and (Richard) Freeman, the doctor. It would be nice if they answered those questions themselves, instead of people asking me."

Thomas said he had dreamed of reaching a Giro from when he began cycling as a schoolboy in Cardiff.

"I don't think I would ever have believed back then that I would be leading a team here. It's an amazing opportunity and I can't wait to stop talking about it and get racing."

This year's Giro covers a gruelling 2,220 mile route around Italy, finishing in Milan at the end of the month.

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