leak boosts Froome, puts Wiggins in spotlight
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[September 19, 2016]
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Chris Froome's
credibility as triple Tour de France champion has only been boosted
by the hacking of his private medical information, according to a
South African physiologist who carried out tests on the Briton last
Jeroen Swart, in an interview with the Cycling Tips website,
suggested, however, that other data published by alleged Russian
cyber hackers had weakened Team Sky's image as "squeaky clean,
cleaner than the rest."
A group, identified as APT28 and Fancy Bear by U.S. cyber-security
researchers, last week revealed Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
for Froome and 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins.
Froome's information was already known.
"It seems Chris has been completely transparent and open about his
TUEs and the documents back that," said Swart, who worked with
Froome after the rider decided to answer critics and undergo
physiological tests. "There was nothing hidden or untowards from
"I think it was (Sunday Times journalist) David Walsh who wrote that
Chris had been offered a TUE for cortisone in 2015 when in the last
week of the Tour he was starting to develop a chest infection or an
asthma exacerbation, and declined. He rode on without one.
"Based on that perspective, he actually comes out looking all the
better after this. It is really Wiggins and the team who are having
a negative light cast on them. From Chrisís side, it is actually
Wiggins, the first British rider to win the Tour and his country's
most decorated Olympian after last month's Rio Games took his tally
to eight medals, is facing questions about his use of allergy
injections that emerged in the leak.
While there was no suggestion of wrongdoing, the injections of
triamcinolone to treat an asthma problem appeared to undermine
Wiggins' previous claims that he had adhered to cycling's "no
[to top of second column]
Yellow jersey leader and overall winner Team Sky rider Chris Froome
of Britain reacts on the podium. REUTERS/Stephane Mantey/Pool
In his 2012 autobiography, Wiggins wrote: "I've never had an
injection, apart from vaccinations, and on occasion I've been put on
A spokesman for Wiggins said the injection referred to in the leaked
information was an intramuscular treatment for asthma that had been
fully approved by the sport's governing bodies. He said the rider
stood by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous
Swart said the injections still left questions to be answered,
particularly when there were other options such as corticosteroid.
"You could shove bucketloads up your nose and down your throat and
inhale it, and you wouldnít be doing anything that would end up with
systemic effects," he said.
"And you would be avoiding the interpretation that there is a
performance-enhancing effect. From that perspective it doesnít look
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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