Chris Froome says questions remain over Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of triamcinolone under a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). However, both he and Mark Cavendish agree that it is impossible to make firm statements about whether it was right or wrong without knowing the exact details of Wiggins’ medical condition.
He said: “Without knowing the exact details of his medical condition, it’s impossible to say if he was operating in a grey area. I had seen Bradley Wiggins using his inhalers so I knew he had asthma, but I wasn’t aware of his allergies.”
Speaking to The Telegraph, Cavendish said: “Maybe Brad needed a TUE legitimately; maybe he could have used something else. But unless you know, it is just speculation. And I’m not going to speculate.
The sprinter drew a parallel with perceptions of his collision with Korean Park Sang-hoon during the Omnium points race at the Olympics.
“You can crop a picture any way you want,” he said. “Even I look at it and go ‘fuck’. Anybody can speculate that it was malicious. You can twist it to how you want. But unless you know, unless you are that person, it is just speculation.”
Froome was granted a TUE to use prednisolone – a drug used to treat various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions – at the 2013 Criterium du Dauphiné and the 2014 Tour de Romandie. Asked the difference between his use of TUEs and Wiggins’ applications, Froome said that he didn’t believe there were alternative treatments for his condition.
“In 2014, I had an asthma exacerbation following the prologue at the Tour de Romandie. I had serious trouble breathing, which was visible to everyone, including journalists who tried to interview me after the stage.
“The team applied for an emergency TUE for a short course of prednisolone. This is the standard treatment for post-infection inflammation in asthmatics that cannot be controlled by standard inhalers. I don’t believe that there are any alternative treatments, and performance enhancement is negligible.”