Geraint Thomas has finally had his say on the issues that have surrounded his team: Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins over the past couple of months.
Shortly after the Olympics where Wiggins won another Gold medal in the team pursuit, Russian hackers Fancy Bears released a whole host of medical TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions) records, and one was Wiggins’s which showed he used a powerful drug used by the likes of Lance Armstrong and David Millar before the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro D’Italia.
Then to compound matters, Sky were implicated as a mystery package was delivered to Wiggins and his Sky’s doctor at the time Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine by Simon Cope who is now in charge of Team Wiggins.
But speaking to CyclingNews in a wide ranging interview, Thomas has spoke about the issues that have been surrounding British Cycling for the past couple of months.
The ethical stance of TUE is a ‘grey area’ according to Thomas
A TUE is given to a rider to allow him to compete if he has a medical problem. But in Wiggins’s case it looked bad, as he said in his autobiography, My Time, in 2012 that he didn’t do any ‘injections’ and that he was in good health before his historic 2012 Tour win, but his TUE records paint a different story.
"Obviously Brad didn't break any rules at the end of the day but the ethical stance is a lot more of a grey area,” said Thomas.
Sky has come under criticism from all angles in the way they handled the whole issue surrounding Wiggins, and the boss Sir Dave Brailsford has admitted they didn’t handle it in the correct manner.
For Thomas it has been difficult to see his team go under the microscope of the media in recent months: “It has been strange because it feels like Team Sky is my team too and to see it come under so much fire… it got to the stage where it felt like anything and everything was being turned against the team.”
Thomas says there is an ‘issue’ with TUE’s in cycling
Many have called on the application of TUE’s to be looked at again, but the UCI feels the process is stringent enough, but Thomas admits there is an ‘issue’ with the TUE’s in cycling.
"If someone has asthma and it affects their performance by five per cent and then they take a drug that helps them 10 per cent, how do you measure that? That's a tricky one,” said the 30-year-old.
Thomas has known Wiggins for a long time, and has raced with the 36-year-old both on the track and on the road for Sky: “He's always looked for advantage in things you eat and that whole marginal gains stuff but it's a tough one,” admitted Thomas.
In closing Thomas said: "I want to believe him. He's someone I've always grown up and admired really.”