Tour de France runner-up Romain Bardet (Ag2r) says that he was ‘amazed’ at Bradley Wiggins’s therapeutic use exemption certificates and says that there should be a review of corticosteroid use.
Bardet was speaking to French newspaper Le Monde, and said that he was amazed that Wiggins received corticosteroid injections prior to the Grand Tours. Details of Wiggins TUEs were leaked online by the Fancy Bears hacking group, who had illegally obtained the confidential records from the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s computer system.
“How can I not be amazed?” said the 25-year-old Frenchman. “I do not have all the information and I have relatively little experience in this, but we see things that show that the system has flaws. These injections before the main tours, this is amazing.”
“I really appreciate Bradley Wiggins, the athlete and the person, his way of living and that he is outspoken. What hurt me, which is annoying, are the contradictions between reality and what he wrote in his autobiography.”
Wiggins received injections of triamcinolone prior to the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia to treat allergies.
Bardet says that he himself has never had a TUE, which are granted when an athlete has to take a substance on WADA’s Prohibited List for a legitimate medical reason. He said that he once had an inflamed foot before the Tour of California, and received an injection as part of his treatment. He elected not to race for a month as part of the healing process.
Bardet says that he thinks more should be done to ensure medical staff have pursued all other avenues before prescribing a banned drug. He would also like to see TUEs made public.
“I would prefer that we know all the TUEs that everyone has. But I do not think this is the right solution. The right solution when you are sick is not to participate in competitions.”
A TUE is not an indication of wrong-doing.