(Reuters) – British Cycling said on Tuesday that their safeguarding team had reached out to Bradley Wiggins after the five-times Olympic champion alleged that he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was 13.
Wiggins, 41, made the claims in an interview with Men’s Health UK magazine and said the abuse had an impact on him as an adult. He did not name the coach.
“I was groomed by a coach when I was younger — I was about 13 — and I never fully accepted that,” Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in 2012, said.
In a statement to Reuters, British Cycling said: “We are deeply concerned by the matter raised by Sir Bradley Wiggins and our safeguarding team has made contact with him today to offer our full support.
“We would encourage anybody who has suffered abuse or has concerns about the welfare of others — regardless of when the incident took place — to utilise the support offered both by our trained team at British Cycling and the dedicated NSPCC Helpline which in turn helps us to ensure that our sport is a safe and welcoming place for all.”
Wiggins, who won eight Olympic medals in all before retiring from the sport in 2016, added that he did not mention the ordeal earlier because he had a difficult relationship with his stepfather.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)