• Haters gonna hate - Wiggins has blamed anti-Sky sentiment for the leak of Froome's doping case (Getty)Source: Getty
2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has laid the blame for the leak of Chris Froome's salbutamol case squarely at the feet of "anti Team Sky" sentiment.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
10 Jul 2018 - 8:42 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2018 - 11:49 PM

The reigning champion was cleared of wrongdoing on the eve of the Tour after a test during last year's Vuelta a Espana found high levels of the asthma drug in his system.

As an anti-doping charge was never brought, the case was meant to remain confidential but leaked late last year.

The situation dominated cycling's narrative since, exacerbated by Froome's win at the Giro d'Italia in May to hold all three grand tour titles consecutively, and in the build-up to the Tour de France as race organisers frustrated by the delay in a ruling, sought to block him from racing. 

"Without the leak we wouldn't even know about it, but that's the nature of the sport now," the former Team Sky rider said on Eurosport's The Bradley Wiggins Show.

"Had it not been Chris Froome there wouldn't have been a leak. I think someone saw an opportunity, one of the big organisations, one of the big parties in this case, maybe (they) did it to get one over on someone else, and it's overshadowed the sport all year.

"But he's in the race now and he's got a chance to win his fifth Tour de France."

"It could happen to any team, but because it was Team Sky it got leaked. There is a feeling of anti-Team Sky."

The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted Froome's explanation of the result, which essentially challenged the foundation of the test, showing that levels of excretion can vary widely as a result of factors such as dehydration.

Asked if the test was fit for purpose, Wiggins said: "Apparently not, and apparently it hasn't been for a while.

"Could this decision have been made earlier? It's just a mess. Did they already know the test was flawed? Apparently they may have already known that months ago and this could have happened with anyone...

"He's now set a precedent, so if the same salbutamol issue comes up with someone else in the Tour de France, he's shown he can undermine the test."

More Tour de France on Cycling Central:
Mellow in yellow: Van Avermaet not thinking beyond Tour for contract future
Greg Van Avermaet had barely pulled on the yellow jersey after stage 3 when he was asked about the status of his contract with the BMC Racing team that is facing possible collapse.
TTT prompts moving day on GC
The battle for the yellow jersey is far from finished, but after the team time trial there is now an established pecking order among the contenders.
Zwift SBS Tour de France Podcast - BMC take yellow, Jens Voigt pops in

Day 3 of the Tour De France 2018 saw a great performance by BMC to win the stage and grab the yellow jersey. Jens Voigt came around and didn't mince his words.. as usual. We also talk tech with Patrick Rossier, the head of sports operations and services at Tissot, the official Timekeeper of the Tour de France on what it takes to record the time, on a team time trial.

More jeers for Froome at start of Tour de France's second stage
Chris Froome was loudly booed again at the start of the Tour de France second stage, as the defending champion being cleared of doping last year seemed to count for little with the French crowd.