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Bradley Wiggins has alleged that he was sexually abused by a cycling coach when he was a teenager. The 2012 Tour de France winner made the claim in a long and revealing interview with Alasdair Campbell in May’s edition of Men’s Health UK magazine. Wiggins did not name the abuser.
Wiggins has talked about his difficult childhood and upbringing in central London on previous occasions, and has been open about his long battle with his mental health and depression, but he has never discussed the serious allegations over the alleged sexual abuse.
“I was ‘groomed’ by a coach when I was younger. I was about 13, and I never fully accepted that,” Wiggins told Men’s Health, according to The Guardian.
When asked by Campbell if he had been “groomed” – the process by which a sexual predator cultivates a relationship with a potential victim – Wiggins said: “Yes. It all impacted me as an adult … I buried it. My stepfather was quite violent to me, he used to call me a f****t for wearing Lycra and stuff, so I didn’t think I could tell him.
“I was such a loner … I just wanted to get out of the environment. I became so insular. I was quite a strange teenager in many ways and I think the drive on the bike stemmed from adversity.”
Wiggins, 41, also opened up about the relationship with his late father, Gary Wiggins, who died following a fight at a party in 2008.
“He left us when I was little, so I met him for the first time when I was 18. We rekindled some kind of relationship but then we didn’t speak for the last couple of years before he was murdered,” Wiggins said.
“He was my hero. I wanted to prove myself to him. He was a good cyclist — he could have been really good — but he was a wasted talent. He was an alcoholic, a manic depressive, quite violent and he took a lot of amphetamines and (sports) drugs back then.”