Geraint Thomas says that his experience with Team Sky does not match the allegations made in a UK parliament report, which said that the team 'crossed an ethical line' with regards to corticosteroid use
Thomas has ridden for the team since its inception in 2010 and would have had a chance to see if Sky “crossed an ethical line” with TUE medical certificates or other practices.
“I haven’t read it, but I’ve read what people have said the main points are,” Thomas told Cycling Weekly.
“Yeah, all I can speak of is my experience, I never experienced anything like that in the team. That’s all can say, really.”
The 54-page ‘Combatting Doping in Sport’ report published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee criticised “poor record keeping and poor medicines policies” within British Cycling and Team Sky.
It looked into Bradley Wiggins’s therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for corticosteroids ahead of big races including his 2012 Tour de France win. It said: “We believe that this powerful corticosteroid was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the Tour de France.”
Team Sky gave Thomas the green light to race the Tour de France this 2018 season. He prepared over the winter in Los Angeles and began his season with the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico, which kicked off on Wednesday. In his “bubble” he has not noticed too much going on with Sky and Chris Froome’s salbutamol case.
“I just sort of stay in my bubble and do my thing. I was down in LA in January and that was great over there, crack on with my training and doing what I need to do. Just worry about myself,” he added.
“Obviously it’s not the nicest when you read people just bashing the team all the time, but at the same time, I try not to read too much anyway.”
The reason is two-fold for Thomas in preparing for the Tour de France overall: one is that he may have a chance to fight alongside Froome for the overall, and another is that he may be the sole leader if Froome is handed a suspension.
“Yeah, you never know with what’s going on with Froomey and stuff, but just to be there and in the best shape if he is there racing, to be as good as I can and try to be there and stay as high as I can in the GC as well. But we don’t know until we get there.”
Thomas spoke with BBC Wales about the TUEs at the centre of the Sky and Wiggins controversy and suggested sport should “get rid” of the exemption certificates.
“It would be a lot simpler,” he said.
“If someone’s had a TUE, it’s the opposite of doping. They’ve had the go-ahead from the powers that be to use that substance. But this is what’s bringing up the whole ethical debate, so in my eyes it would just be easier to get rid of them. It would get rid of the grey area.
“It might be unfair [to some allergy sufferers], but at the moment that’s the only way I can see things becoming a bit more black and white.”