An Olympic gold medalist team-mate and new Team Sky signing has hit back at criticism of Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Owain Doull said the outrage surrounding Wiggins’s controversial use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) on the run-up to his 2012 Tour de France victory had been “blown out of all proportion”.
Wiggins’s behaviour was questioned by fellow and former riders after documents leaked by alleged Russian hacking group Fancy Bears revealed he had taken injections of powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone to manage hayfever symptoms.
Doull, who broke the team pursuit world record alongside Wiggins on their way Rio glory, hit back at suggestions of impropriety.
“I know Brad very well and it’s been a bit of shit time for him. And to be honest when it gets put under the spotlight, it kind of gets blown out of proportion,” Doull told City A.M.
“Every little thing is going to be scrutinised. If he wasn’t under the spotlight, if [people] just looked at the facts [they’d realise] it wouldn’t be that big a deal.”
Having focused on track cycling for the Rio Olympics, the 23-year-old also competed on the road this year for Sir Bradley’s development squad Team Wiggins.
But as of 1 January he will be a fully-fledged Team Sky rider with plans to concentrate on the road for the next two years.
We had an October camp and we discussed what was going on. The main thing that was brought up was the team needs to be a lot more transparent. [Team Sky] know they are doing nothing wrong.
They are probably the most transparent team already. The amount of information they give out publicly… And they want to be more transparent, which can only be a good thing to be honest.
Joining Doull at Team Sky is 22-year-old track world champion Jon Dibben. Although he narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth after fracturing his elbow in April, he is also being touted as one of the stars of the future at the four-time Tour de France-winning team.
Like many of British Cycling’s track stars, Dibben said a lot is still owed to ousted head coach Shane Sutton.
“I was always a big fan of Shane. I thought he was brilliant for British cycling. I think pretty much everyone who knows him says he tells it how it is,” he said.
The Australian coach was suspended earlier in the year amid claims of sexist comments towards members of the women’s team. The allegations were upheld in October after an internal British Cycling investigation.
But Dibben said Sutton’s sacking wouldn’t stopping him going to him for advice.
Personally, he’s still someone I would pick up the phone to and ring if I needed a bit of advice. He’s certainly always got the riders best interests at heart 100 per cent.
He knows all about [going] from the track to the road. He’s certainly a good idea to bounce ideas off.
Owain Doull and John Dibben were speaking at Round 1 of Revolution Champions League in Manchester. Round 2 takes place from 2-3 December at Lee Valley VeloPark, London. For more information, visit www.cyclingrevolution.com