David Walsh, Sunday Times journalist and author of Inside Team Sky today appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain to discuss the parliamentary report that has decreed that Bradley Wiggins' use of a TUE "crossed an ethical line". Wiggins was given Triamcinolone - a corticosteroid which is used to treat allergies and respiratory issues but also boosts performance - shortly before the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d'Italia. The drug is not banned by WADA and is allowed to be taken for therapeutic reasons. The select committee said this "does not constitute a violation of the Wada code", it claims it "does cross the ethical line" set out by Team Sky principal and founder Dave Brailsford.
Wiggins issued a denial, which read:
I find it so sad that accusations can be made, where people can be accused of things they have never done, which are then regarded as facts.
I strongly refute the claim that any drug was used without medical need.
Team Sky have strongly refuted the allegation.
Speaking to Piers Morgan this morning, Walsh agreed with the presenter's assertion that Wiggins cheated.
I believe you are absolutely right. Everything is in the detail, it always is. Bradley Wiggins was asked by Dan Roan of the BBC 'How come you were taking this powerful drug just before your races?'. Wiggins said that his pollen allergies were most affected in June and July.
In 2013, Bradley got a TUE for this powerful drug in late April for a race that ended on the 26th of May, in Italy. I was at that race - it's mostly raining there [during the Giro D'Italia].
Later in his career, after 2013, his doctor Richard Freeman was trying to get him another TUE for the Tour of Britain in September. Interestingly, that TUE was blocked by other doctors at Team Sky, by changing the password to the system. Richard Freeman, their colleague, couldn't get on the system to get this TUE. So people in Team Sky medical people, knew this was wrong and stopped it.
Morgan went on to ask Walsh if he was ever aware that Wiggins had asthma.
No, I wasn't aware of it. It should be said that exercise-induced asthma is a geniune phenomenon. But how you treat it is really important. The normal inhaler people use, that's legal. You don't need a therapeutic exemption for it. When Bradley Wiggins was with his previous team, he used this inhaler, and he finished fourth in the Tour de France on this much lesser medication. So it wasn't that his asthma stopped him competing - he was a really successful cyclist.
Then all of a sudden he rides the tour de France for Team Sky, and the medication is on a much higher level.
Morgan ended by citing Wiggins' body language during the course of his interview with the BBC, claiming that Wiggins rarely looked his interviewer directly in the eye. Morgan asked whether Walsh detected similar body language when he was investigating Lance Armstrong.
In a way, I kind of have a bit of admiration for Armstrong on this. Lance didn't come on and talk about his family. He said that 'I've never tested positive'. What I felt that Lance was always saying to us all, 'We know the score here. Get me. Catch me if you can'.