Millar says drugs Wiggins took cause rapid weight loss, power gain

Posted on: September 20th, 2016

David Millar said the drugs Bradley Wiggins took caused him a “destructive” high and resulted in rapid weight loss and power gain.


David Millar has spoken about his experience of taking the drugs Bradley Wiggins was administered according to the therapeutic use exemption (TUE) details leaked online last week.

Millar, who has himself served a two-year ban related to EPO but has claimed a clean record since then, said the UCI should ban the corticosteroid triamcinolone that Wiggins took under the TUE system.

Wiggins took triamcinolone acetonide, to treat hayfever, via intramuscular injection three times while riding for Team Sky; before the Tour de France in both 2011 and 2012 and before the Giro in 2013.

It is important to note Wiggins broke no rules and that his use of the substances was legal, properly applied for and sanctioned via the proper channels.

However, the fact Wiggins said in his book ‘My Time’ after his Tour win in 2012 that he had only ever received injections when being vaccinated or receiving a drip for dehydration appears at odds with the injections he received in 2011 and 2012.


Wiggins being crowned Tour winner in Paris in July, 2012. He would also win the Olympic TT gold less than two weeks later.


The fact the TUEs were availed of for the drug just before three Grand Tours Wiggins was targeting has also caused reputational damage.

And with Team Sky having claimed in the past it would take a rider out of racing rather than apply for TUEs for allergies, the TUE details very much damage the team’s carefully cultivated image.

Details of Wiggins TUEs emerged online after a Russian group calling itself Fancy Bears obtain the data for a large number of global sports stars by hacking the Word Anti Doping Agency’s computer systems.

Speaking to The Telegraph newspaper in Britain, Millar has conceded he did not know what it felt like to suffer from allergies so badly that you would need the substance.

He referred to it as Kenacort, a trade name for triamcinolone acetonide.

Millar said while he himself had taken EPO and testosterone patches, Kenacort was the only substance he took “and three days later you looked different”.

He added: “I remember it was one of the reasons I took sleeping pills because Kenacort put you on this weird high. It’s quite scary because it’s catabolic so it’s eating into you. It felt destructive. It felt powerful.”

And Millar, who has now retired and works as a pundit, said while there were times he did “all the training” but his weight stayed the same, Kenacort resulted in immediate weight loss.

“If I took Kenacort, 1½-2kgs would drop off in like a week. And not only would the weight drop off I would feel stronger,” he told Telegraph journalist Tom Cary.

“If you are non-asthmatic and you take Ventolin it’s not going to give you any advantage.

“But if you take Kenacort it’s not only going to make a sick person better, it’s going to make a sick person better than a healthy person. That’s a very grey area.”

Even some of those who have supported and defended Team Sky against allegations and innuendo in the past are voicing their concern.

Journalist David Walsh, a fan and supporter of the team, wrote in The Sunday Times at the weekend: “The team that wanted to be seen as whiter than white had been dealing in shades of grey. What they did was legal but it wasn’t right.”