NICOLAS ROCHE HAS criticised the decision of Team Sky to apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Bradley Wiggins to use an otherwise banned drug, calling it ‘ethically wrong.’
The Irish cyclist, who will leave Team Sky at the end of the current season to join BMC Racing, added that the current regulations made it too easy for TUEs to be granted.
“Like I said already on my Twitter a few weeks ago, when WADA was hacked the first time and before the Wiggins story, there is a major problem with TUEs,” Roche told cyclingnews.com.
“There is a problem with the actual system. Again, you can do whatever you want against Wiggins, but unfortunately, as far as ethically it’s wrong, he is within the rules.
“It is wrong that these rules are like that. That’s where the main problem is. Once we get those rules right, there won’t be any abuse, but that’s the priority.”
Wiggins has been in the spotlight since leaked medical data showed the five-time Olympic champion had been granted a TUE by cycling authorities for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone, which he was permitted to take just days before the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as the 2011 Tour and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Wiggins said he needed the drug to help control his asthma. He and Team Sky are also reportedly at the centre of an inquiry by United Kingdom Anti-Doping.
Roche, who is currently in Doha competing at the World Road Cycling Championships for Ireland, added: ”To be honest, this year I was sick three times and I never needed a TUE, so there is a real problem on the easiness of getting TUEs and how athletes can abuse them.
“I think if you work on that then you have a solution. But the problem is much more than Wiggins, it’s the whole system that needs to be revised.”
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