Wiggins’ sadness over Armstrong scandal

Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins

ADOPTED Wiganer Bradley Wiggins says he will defend the reputation of his sport in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Speaking about the impact of the US anti-doping agency’s report into the seven time Tour de France champion, Wiggins explained that he would grudgingly accept his role as a cycling spokesman.

The current Olympic and Tour champ, said: “The effect it has on me as the current champion is that I’ve got to pick up the pieces and be the voice of the Tour which I’m not happy about doing but I understand why I have to do it.

“The evidence is pretty damning stuff, it’s pretty jaw dropping and in a lot of detail as well and the amount of people who have testified, it certainly is not a one-sided hatchet job.”

The report labels American cyclist Armstrong, who battled back from testicular cancer to win the Tour multiple times, a “serial” cheat who led “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen.”

Wiggins told Sky News: “I don’t know what the International Cycling Union (UCI) does now. Strip him of his titles and give it to the second place who has already been banned? There was one report that in 2003 they would have to go down to fifth place to award the victory. It’s almost irrelevant now, there’s a void in those seven years that Lance won the tour.

“My focus is always on being better and competing next year again and almost shouting from the rooftops about what I did this year. That is the future of cycling in this country. A lot of this stuff happened nearly 15 years ago.

“It’s a shame in cycling that this historical race that I won this year will be without a winner for seven years which is sad in a way. Where does it go from there? What happens to the history books? It’s sad talking about the sport in these terms.”