Cycling: Scale of evidence shocks Olympian

Bradley Wiggins of England. Photo / Chirstophe Ena
Bradley Wiggins of England. Photo / Chirstophe Ena

Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins says he was shocked by the mountain of evidence against Lance Armstrong after the American was labelled a serial drug cheat by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Wiggins has enjoyed the best year of his career after becoming Britain's first Tour de France winner and then clinching a gold medal at the London Olympics.

But his remarkable achievements are in danger of being overshadowed by the Armstrong scandal.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA and banned from the sport for life after the organisation claimed he orchestrated the most sophisticated doping programme ever seen.

Wiggins insists he was already suspicious about Armstrong, who maintains his innocence, after persistent rumours of drug use, but even so the deluge of evidence against the American came as a surprise.

"It's pretty damning stuff. It is pretty jaw-dropping the amount of people who have testified against him," Wiggins told Sky News yesterday.

"It is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job, it is pretty damning. I am shocked at the scale of the evidence.

"I have been involved in pro cycling for a long time and I realise what it takes to train and win the Tour de France. I'm not surprised by it. I had a good idea what is going on."

Wiggins has no sympathy for the American and admits he is frustrated that Armstrong's behaviour remains the main talking point in cycling at the end of his memorable year.

"My main concern is that I am standing here as the winner of the Tour de France," Wiggins said.

"We are the ones picking these pieces up. For me it is about moving forward and not looking back any more to what happened 10, 15 years ago.

"It always is [frustrating answering questions about drugs cheats]. It is not something which sits easily. Everyone knows where we stand on that, it is about looking forward.

"We are one of the most successful sports for catching people.

"I don't think that is relevant to what we are doing today. What we are doing today is setting the example for our sport."


-AFP

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