Bradley Wiggins has distanced himself from disgraced former Team Sky doctor Geert Leinders and stood by comments regarding his use of needle injections, after a leak of his medical records prompted questions of the five time Olympic champion.
Details made public by Russian hackers reveal the British cycling star applied for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and world cycling governing body the UCI for injections of the prohibited steroid triamcinolone ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
In 2011 and 2012 the now-banned Leinders worked for Team Sky on a part-time basis. He was sacked in October 2012 and banned for life by anti-doping agencies last year after riders from previous teams testified that he had falsified medical records in order to obtain TUEs from Wada.
Although there is no suggestion in the Russian leak of any wrongdoing on Wiggins' behalf — TUEs are granted to athletes who can demonstrate a medical need for particular medicines — the 2012 Tour de France champion has clarified his relationship with Leinders.
"Brad has no direct link to Geert Leinders," read a statement issued on behalf of Wiggins.
"Leinders was 'on race' doctor for Team Sky for a short period and so was occasionally present at races dealing with injuries sustained whilst racing such as colds, bruises etc.
"Leinders had no part in Brad's TUE application; Brad's medical assessments from 2011 - 2015 were processed by the official Team Sky doctor and were verified by independent specialists to follow Wada, UCI and British Cycling guidelines."
Following the revelations that Wiggins had used triamcinolone for medicinal purposes, Wiggins was asked to explain comments made in his 2012 autobiography that he lived by a strict "no needles" policy.
"Brad's passing comment regarding needles in the 2012 book referred to the historic (illegal) practice of intravenous injections of performance enhancing substances which was the subject of the 2011 UCI law change," read the statement.
"The triamcinolone injection that is referred to in the Wada leaks is an intramuscular treatment of asthma, is fully approved by the sport's governing bodies and Brad stands by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous needle injections."