London, Dec 29 (IANS) Five-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from cycling after being hit by doping rumors in the past three months.
“I’ve met my idols and ridden alongside the best for 20 years,” the 36-year-old, who became Britain’s first Tour de France winner in 2012, said on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“This is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards. Kids from Kilburn don’t win Olympic golds and the Tour de France! They do now,” he added.
Wiggins won the team pursuit gold on the track in the Rio Olympics, his fifth gold and eighth Olympic medal in five Olympics since 2000, making him Britain’s most decorated Olympian in history.
He also won eight world titles on the road and track and set the world record for the furthest distance ridden in one hour at 54.526km.
“Cycling has given me everything and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids,” he said.
Wiggins and Team Sky, the professional team he won the Tour with, were put under scrutiny in September 2016 for his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), after his confidential medical information was leaked by hackers ‘Fancy Bears’, the BBC said.
A mysterious package put them into the spotlight again two months ago and the content of the package is the subject of a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation.
Appearing before a Parliamentary select committee, Team Sky’s general manager Dave Brailsford revealed that he has been told the content was Fluimucil.
The drug, which was to be administered by a nebuliser, is used to clear mucus and is not subject to any controls by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
UKAD launched an investigation after the Daily Mail reported that a package had been delivered by a senior British Cycling coach to Team Sky on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine at La Toussuire in the French Alps.
The package was handed to Team Sky’s doctor Richard Freeman, who then undertook a medical consultation with Wiggins, who had won the race.
Until now, Dave and British Cycling officials have declined to discuss the substance, citing the UKAD investigation, the Sky news reported.