Bradley Wiggins announces his retirement from cycling

Britain’s first Tour de France winner has signed off at the age of 36.

Image: Joe Giddens

BRADLEY WIGGINS, the first British rider to win the Tour de France, has brought the curtain down on his career at the age of 36.

“I have been lucky enough to live a dream and fulfil my childhood aspiration of making a living and a career out of the sport I fell in love with at the age of 12,” Wiggins said in a statement on his Facebook page.

“I’ve met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years. I have worked with the world’s best coaches and managers who I will always be grateful to for their support.

“What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public through thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living.”

Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in 2012, bows out with eight Olympic medals, including five golds, and seven world titles across track and road cycling.

Back in September, Wiggins came under scrutiny when his confidential medical information was included in one of the leaks resulting from an alleged Russian-led cyber attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database.

It was revealed that Wiggins received three injections of an anti-inflammatory drug between 2011 and 2013. Wiggins responded by insisting that he needed permission to use a banned substance to treat his asthma to ensure he was “back on a level playing field.”

He said there was “nothing new” about his need for asthma medication and, in a BBC interview, went on to defend his need for a “Therapeutic Use Exemption” which allows athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need.

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“This was to cure a medical condition,” Wiggins said. “This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage. This was about putting myself back on a level playing field in order to compete at the highest level.”

The treatment was approved by cycling authorities and there was no suggestion that any rules had been broken.

Earlier this month, Team Sky’s general manager Dave Brailsford told a parliamentary select committee — as part of a UK Anti-Doping investigation — that a mysterious package delivered to Wiggins’ doctor before the 2011 Tour de France contained fluimicil, a decongestant that is not subject to any anti-doping rules.

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Paul Dollery

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