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Tour de France crown should be taken off Wiggins, says Landis


By Steve Simpson

Floyd Landis has called for Sir Bradley Wiggins to be stripped of his 2012 Tour de France title in the wake of allegations made in a parliamentary report.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee's report accused Wiggins, Team Sky and Sir Dave Brailsford of "crossing an ethical line" in applying for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for banned medication.

Wiggins has categorically denied cheating and has always maintained that he required the anti-inflammatory steroid triamcinolone to treat asthma and pollen allergies.

The DCMS report acknowledged that the use of TUEs in competition did not violate the World Anti-Doping Agency code, however it argued that it was their belief that drugs were used by Team Sky "to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need".

Landis, who lost the Tour de France title he won in 2006 following a positive drugs test, believes Wiggins should now be suspended and have his 2012 victory stricken from records.

The American was a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong and initially denied doping before becoming the chief whistleblower in a federal case against cycling's most recognised name.

"Wiggins should lose his Tour title," Landis said. "I can't see how the sport authorities can let it slide. You can't take them seriously if they don't act.

"There's a report right there for them and for me WADA have no choice but to suspend him and take his title away. If they were legitimate, that's what they'd do."

WADA have not yet responded to the report.

It is understood Team Sky are backing their under-fire boss Brailsford, yet Landis has also argued the DCMS report could spell the end for a team whose riders have won five of the past six Tours.

"This has to be the end of the team. I'm 100 per cent sure that there will not be a Sky team at the Tour de France this year," Landis added. "The little pieces add up and no one with more than two brain cells would add it all up and conclude that it was all just coincidental."

Meanwhile, UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead wants to see glucocorticosteroids such as triamcinolone banned "at all times".

Use of triamcinolone in competition does not breach anti-doping regulations, provided it is granted through the TUE system, but a TUE is not required to take the powerful drug out of competition, and Sapstead wants tighter rules.

She said: "For the past three years, UK Anti-Doping have made submissions to the World Anti-Doping Agency to see glucocorticosteroids included on the banned list of substances in sport at all times.

"It's a very grey area with these substances because they're not permitted in competition but you're allowed to take them out of competition.

"Those lines between in and out of competition can be, for example, midnight and one minute past midnight, so there are beneficial effects that come from a number of substances that athletes can take, and it's our job, along with the rest of the anti-doping community, to identify which substances we think continue to have a performance enhancing effect, long past the time that they are taken."

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