Wiggins puts limit on proving transparency
A day after professing his desire for total transparency, Bradley Wiggins said he has been advised going all out to prove he is not a drugs cheat.
Wiggins has been leading the Tour de France since teammate Chris Froome cruised past defending yellow jersey champion Cadel Evans to win stage seven at the end of the steep climb to La Planche Des Belles Filles in the Vosges.
A week later, and after having faced much scrutiny as the leader of the world’s biggest bike race, Wiggins looks primed to become Britain’s first Tour de France champion.
But a day after asking “what more can I do?” to prove his current success is down to bread and water, Wiggins said he had been advised against making the results of his blood passport programme public.
All professional cyclists must sign up to the programme run by the International Cycling Union (UCI), whose aim is to catch cheats by detecting fluctuations in tell-tale key parameters in blood taken at regular intervals.
Wiggins believes publishing results would cause confusion and, for him, be a “no-win” situation.
“I did it in 2009 and people said I was doped, so I think whatever you do with the passport thing, I think it’s a no-win situation,” Wiggins said at the end of the 13th stage Saturday.
In 2009, Wiggins claimed his best result ever on the race when he finished fourth riding for Garmin, a team who regularly profess their commitment to drugs-free sport.
Now at Sky, Wiggins says he has been advised against a repeat by “doctors in the team”.
“They’ve said to me that the blood passport isn’t sort of clear cut doping or not doping. There’s so many variables in it.
“So if I was to do that, to certain people scrutinising it, they would say ’it’s either too stable or it’s too up and down’.
“I’ve been strongly advised against it, but it’s something I’d like to do ... because I’ve got nothing to hide so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be out there.”
Sky’s domination in the race has prompted some commentators to compare them to the dominant US Postal team once headed by Lance Armstrong, the seven-time champion who faces serious doping charges in the United States.
In some sections of the French press, Sky have even been dubbed ’UK Postal’.
Wiggins was also asked about reported doubts on his performance from former Irish professional Paul Kimmage, now an award-winning journalist known for his staunch anti-doping stance.
But the Englishman said there was a limit to what he would do to prove his innocence.
“Sometimes I think for certain people, whatever you do will never be enough, unless they came and lived with me for 12 months. And I’m not prepared to do that. Certainly not (with) Paul Kimmage,” added Wiggins.
He believes his only chance at proving the doubters wrong is continuing to pass doping tests.
“The test of time is more important really, and the continuation of the fantastic job the UCI do,” said Wiggins.
“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been tested this week, blood and urine. It’s the more we do that, the better our sport is becoming.”