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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Former Team Sky coach Sutton puts pressure on Wiggins to speak out

Sutton has urged 2012 Tour de France winner and Team Sky Dr Freeman to explain their use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for banned medication

In this file photo from July 22, 2012 Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France cycling race, stands on the podium in Paris, France. A British parliamentary committee says in a doping investigation report that Wiggins used a banned powerful corticosteroid to enhance his performance and not for medical reasons while winning the Tour de France in 2012. Laurent Cipriani / AP Photo
In this file photo from July 22, 2012 Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France cycling race, stands on the podium in Paris, France. A British parliamentary committee says in a doping investigation report that Wiggins used a banned powerful corticosteroid to enhance his performance and not for medical reasons while winning the Tour de France in 2012. Laurent Cipriani / AP Photo

Bradley Wiggins' former coach Shane Sutton has urged the five-time Olympic champion and former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman to explain their use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for banned medication.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee's report accused Wiggins, Team Sky and principal Dave Brailsford of "crossing an ethical line" in applying for TUEs for the anti-inflammatory steroid triamcinolone. All have categorically denied cheating.

Sutton, the former Team Sky head coach and British cycling technical director, stuck by what he told the DCMS committee about an "ethical line" being crossed in applying for TUEs for banned drugs which were not really needed for medical reasons.

The Australian, however, maintains others still have questions to answer. He told Sky Sports News: "I have no axe to grind with Brad. My axe to grind here is Brad and the doc [Freeman] had a chance to come forward.

"They had a chance to defend Dave Brailsford and it should have been them in front of the committee. I am calling for him and the doc to come forward now and tell the truth."

Sutton continued: "The report is that he [Wiggins] didn't cheat, so come forward and tell everybody what you went through, how many times you administered this particular corticosteroid or whatever to combat what you were going through, and then let's just put it to bed."

Sutton took exception to claims from an anonymous source stating to the DCMS that Wiggins and a group of riders trained separately and used triamcinolone to "lean down".

The Australian said: "I know what training camps I was on with Brad, and for me that is a total lie and [is from] someone that very much, I would say, has an axe to grind with Team Sky."

Sutton also described as "laughable" claims he had bullied Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman over the use of TUEs.

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"The doctor needs to go in front of the camera and put everyone's mind to rest. The doctor was never bullied into anything ... for people to turn around to say [that] is utter nonsense," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), denied misleading parliament in evidence he gave MPs during December 2015 about what he knew of Russia's doping conspiracy and corruption within athletics.

Coe was speaking to reporters following a meeting of the IAAF council in Birmingham on Tuesday.

The former London 2012 chief and double Olympic 1,500 metres champion said: "We've read the report and absorbed it and I did not mislead the committee."

When asked if it had damaged his reputation, as claimed by the report, Coe said: "No. I cannot account for answers that have been attached to different questions.

"We should take stock. There's a lot more to be done, but this sport is not in tatters - it's strong."

Later on Tuesday, Team Sky's current lead racer Chris Froome backed Brailsford and dismissed as "absolute rubbish" claims he was among those treated with corticosteroids in the past.

Froome, preparing for the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy, told reporters he had "never seen anything like that" over his eight years at Team Sky.

The four-time Tour de France winner said: "I'm proud to be part of the team. I wouldn't have stayed so long, I wouldn't have been in the team, I wouldn't still be in the team, if I didn't believe in the team and the people around me.

"Dave B [Brailsford] has brought all those people together and we've got a fantastic group of people."

Froome himself continues to race while fighting to prove his innocence after returning an adverse analytical finding for asthma drug salbutamol during last year's La Vuelta - a race he won in a historic double with the Tour.