Cycling in the South Bay sat down with Bradley Wiggins to discuss his use of performance enhancing drugs prior to his 2012 Tour de France win.
CitSB: So you got a TUE for steroids to treat your asthma right before the Tour?
CitSB: And you went on to win?
CitSB: Your asthma must have been really bad.
BW: Bad? Mate, it was killing me. It was so bad I had these little coughs in bed at night. Me throat got a little raw even. It was the most terrible pain I’ve ever felt.
CitSB: And as a result you took a year-long prescription for steroids?
BW: Oh, yeah. Them things work, mate.
CitSB: And you don’t consider that cheating?
CitSB: Why not?
BW: I had to level the playing field, mate.
CitSB: Could you elaborate?
BW: The playing field was all tilted and crooked and whomperjawed. Because of me asthma and I couldn’t breathe so we had to put a jack under the edge of the playing field and level it out.
CitSB: So you think that all racers should be equal?
BW: Oh, sure, mate. Gotta be fair and square or it’s not racing, it’s rigged like the US elections. It’s letting one guy beat another guy because of unfair advantages. That’s why we have the TUE system, mate. Man gets a bit of a breathing problem and he’s suddenly got the table tilted against him, then he takes a bit of the good stuff and *bam* he’s back equal with the other blokes.
CitSB: What are some of the other unfair advantages that a rider would need to use a TUE to “level out the playing field”?
BW: Oh, all kinds of shit, mate. All kinds of shit.
CitSB: Like what?
BW: VO2 max, mate. There’s guys out there with super high VO2 max and some other bloke only has, like, you know, maybe a 45. That’s bone idle wanker unfair.
CitSB: What else?
BW: List is endless, mate. Some guy’s been training extra hard, for example, while another bloke’s been drinking beer and boinking his GF. Super un-level playing field. Or diet. Dieting really tilts the hell out of the playing field.
BW: Is there an echo in here? Yeah, mate. One guy eats really good and stays lean and comes into the Tour at race weight, and the other bloke is 25 pounds overweight, butt cheeks sagging over the saddle wings.
CitSB: You mean Cavendish?
BW: Don’t wanna name names, mate, but you get me drift. Them’s unfair advantages. That’s why we have the TUE system.
CitSB: Some have said that if you have chronic breathing problems so severe that they require regular steroid prescriptions, maybe you shouldn’t be in an elite endurance sport.
BW: Yeah, well you know what? Sick people should get a shot at the yellow jersey same as healthy ones. That’s discrimination, mate. Pure and simple discrimination.
CitSB: Can you tell us about the secret package delivery just before the Tour?
BW: Oh, sure. That was nothing, mate.
CitSB: What was in the package?
BW: Just some orange juice and a couple of aspirin.
CitSB: Why was it shipped in from Italy by private courier?
BW: Italian oranges, mate, them’s the best.
CitSB: I see. Any suggestions for how the TUE system might be reformed?
BW: Yeah. I have this genetic low red blood cell count problem. I’m hoping to get a TUE to reform that. You know, to raise it up a bit. Untilt the playing field, so to speak.
CitSB: So to speak.
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