This week’s Big Issue cover star shot to fame for his five Olympic gold medals and his historic Tour de France victory, the first Briton to conquer the iconic race.
But in the past few years he has had to battle to prove his innocence during a controversy over accusations that he had taken a performance-enhancing substance while racing for the then-Team Sky.
- “I don’t give a shit about my cycling career now. I’m just detached from it, I don’t want to live off the back of it,” said Wiggins.
- “I live off of being me, and I’m happy in my own skin. I’ve gone full circle, I watch it as a fan now. I don’t expect to be recognised or anything. Some people like to cling on to those moments. I see it on social media every day, people who are supposed to be your friends, still celebrating that moment. ‘Seven years ago today my mate Bradley won this race in London..’ And I’m like, it was seven years ago, get over it mate.”
- “I felt like I was in the eye of the storm, and I was trying to prove a negative,” said Wiggins. “But the fact that I’m back working in the sport [as a television cycling pundit] is testament to the fact that I did nothing wrong. The people who are responsible for what happened are now on a charm offensive but people aren’t stupid. I’m not angry though, I’ll be involved with cycling a lot longer than those people, because I love it.”
The Big Issue, Bradley Wiggins: “I’m detached from cycling now”, Jane Graham, August 26, 2019.
Cycling News, Bradley Wiggins to train as social worker as he 'detaches' from cycling career, August 27, 2019.
- In an interview published in this week's Big Issue, Wiggins also addresses the scrutiny he was put under following the 'Fancy Bears' hack that revealed his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to allow intramuscular injections of the corticosteroid Triamcinolone Acetonide to treat his allergies ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France – the latter won by Wiggins – and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
- The contents of a Jiffy bag delivered to his Team Sky bus at the conclusion of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, later said by team manager Dave Brailsford to contain the decongestant Fluimucil, was also a key part of a Select Committee investigation into anti-doping policies at Team Sky and British Cycling.
- Wiggins, who has been in Spain this week at the Vuelta a España for Eurosport, also revealed he is going to study to become a social worker. At the weekend, it was announced that the Team Wiggins Le Col Continental team would cease operations after the Tour of Britain.
Cycling Weekly, Bradley Wiggins embarks upon social work degree in career path change, Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, August 27, 2019.
- Wiggins, who grew up in Kilburn, had a difficult relationship with his father.
“Those horrific things I saw when I was growing up … nothing can shock me now, and I want to use that mental toughness working as a social worker. And when people say, ‘Oh you’re that cyclist’, I’ll say: ‘No, that was a few years ago. I’m a social worker now’” he said.
Cycling Tips, Bradley Wiggins: “I don’t give a shit about my cycling career now”, AFP Newswire, August 27, 2019.
- Wiggins’ reputation has suffered since his retirement after internet hackers revealed details of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) Wiggins was granted ahead of some of his biggest races, including the 2012 Tour.
- An investigation into the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine for his use was inconclusive.
- At the time, Wiggins called the controversial investigation a “malicious witch-hunt”.
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