Former star of the velodrome, and world and olympic champion, Bradley Wiggins might well have expected the mountains of the Tour de France to be his most gruelling test of the race. However, the tradition that requires the race leader to provide a press conference at the end of each day is severely testing Wiggins' temper to the limit.
In response to a question about the allegations that he is taking performance enhancing substances, the BBC reports
, he vehemently asserted:
It's not like I've just come from nowhere. I've been three times Olympic champion on the track; people have to realise what kind of engine you need to win an Olympic gold medal as an individual pursuiter. I've been six times world champion, fourth in the Tour de France, third in the Vuelta last year.
In earlier press conferences, when the issue has arisen, Wiggins has been equally defensive. As The Sun
points out, he is fuming that drugs questions keep overshadowing his achievements. In response to the speculation, Wiggins said:
There’s one reason why I’m in this position and that’s because I’ve worked hard. I shouldn’t have to justify all that other stuff.
Yet, somehow, all the vehemence of his loud protestations are not entirely convincing. Whilst, rebutting the allegations of doping, the Guardian
notes Wiggins told the press:
I'm only human at the end of the day. I'm not this robot. I'm just a kid from London who happened to be good at cycling, and made it here. I make mistakes in my life. I'm not this fantastic role model that everyone wants me to be. I'm good at riding my bike and performing on my bike. Other than that, sitting up here, answering all these questions every day, trying to be articulate about it – I don't know what else I can do.
This sounds less like an outright denial, and more like the heartfelt cry of a man who feels he is being held unfairly to standards that are arbitrary, having nothing to do with the situation and his achievements.