The Daily Mail reports that Sir Bradley Wiggins missed an anti-doping whereabouts test in May as he returned from the Tour of California
The Olympic champion received a strike on his record for providing ‘insufficient information about where he would be’, which Wiggins put down to ‘the time difference and the fact it was an overnight flight’.
The revelation comes as something of a surprise, given Wiggins’s strong comments after it was revealed that Lizzie Deignan (née Armitstead) missed three whereabouts tests in a 12-month period.
He told the Guardian in September: “When you’re a professional athlete and you’re a world champion, there’s no excuse, because it’s your career. You’re setting the standard for everybody else, and to say: ‘Cycling wasn’t my priority at that time’ is ludicrous, because you nearly lost your career over it. That’s just ridiculous. So I can’t fathom how that happened.
“It’s bloody hard because what happens is you miss one test, they write you a letter, they ask you to explain what happened and you’ve got two weeks to put a case forward. If you ignore that and then you get another one, you end up having crisis meetings.”
Riders are required to provide a one-hour period each day in which an anti-doping officer can visit them, with changes able to be made up to a minute beforehand in the case of an emergency. Riders can use a mobile app to update their whereabouts and face a ban if they miss three appointments in a 12-month period.
Armitstead was spared a suspension when she successfully argued that her first strike should be scrubbed off the record. Wiggins, the Mail reveals, has missed two other whereabouts tests in his career – one in 2005 and one in 2009.
Wiggins has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after hackers released details of his medical records, which showed he had been prescribed otherwise banned medication to treat a pollen allergy. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on Wiggins’s part, given that the medication was signed off by the UCI.