Former team pursuit rider Bryan Steel gives Wiggins his backing

One of Bradley Wiggins‘s former team-mates has given the under-fire former rider his backing, saying that Wiggins has “never doped”.

Bryan Steel, who won Olympic medals with Wiggins as part of the British team pursuit squad in 2000 and 2004, says that he has faith in his former team-mate.

“Personally, I know Bradley very well and I know that he’s never doped,” Steel told Notts TV.

“TUEs, therapeutic use exemptions, that allow athletes to take banned substances, are part of the job really and sometimes you have to take medication for coughs and colds.”

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Steel went on to say that when he was riding TUEs were often a precautionary measure, something that he expected would be the same for Wiggins.

“I used to carry them [the medications] myself but never used to take them – I just had them as a precautionary thing really.

“I would imagine some of the issues surrounding Brad were with his TUEs he was carrying, but he probably wasn’t taking that medication.”

Having spent a number of years working with British Cycling, Steel, who has well as winning silver and bronze Olympic medals also achieved multiple World Championship podiums, said that his former employer would never allow a rider such as Wiggins to use banned substances.

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“There was nothing illegal – the British Cycling doctor would never allow doping to happen, it’s just a case of maybe he’s got a cough and they can happen all the time in poor weather conditions.”

Tour de France winner Wiggins has been under fire in recent months, first for his use of TUEs before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia, and also over the contents of a Jiffy bag delivered to the Team Sky bus at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.