By Alex Glenn • 19 April 2022 • 8:29
Nicola, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed that when he was only 13 years old he was sexually groomed by a coach. The three-time Olympic champion has commented on how his adult life has been “impacted” by the abuse, as reported by ITV on April 19.
Wiggins opened up to Men’s Health UK magazine and said: “I was groomed by a coach when I was younger – I was about 13 – and I never fully accepted that.”
When quizzed on the type of grooming and if it was sexual Wiggins commented: “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.”
The sporting star has spent years running from his life and trying to understand his complicated relationship with his father, cyclist Gary Wiggins.
Commenting on running from his life Wiggins said: “It was definitely to do with my dad,
“Never getting answers when he was murdered 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…”
He went on to add: “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.”
Wiggins spoke of his professional sporting life and revealed: “After winning the Tour de France, then winning at the Olympics, life was never the same again,
“I was thrust into this fame and adulation that came with the success…I’m an introverted, private person.
“I didn’t know who ‘me’ was, so I adopted a kind of veil – a sort of rock star veil. It wasn’t really me… It was probably the unhappiest period of my life.
“Everything I did was about winning for other people, and the pressures that came with being the first British winner of the Tour. I really struggled with it.”
The Tour de France star also revealed details of his mental health and said: “I have to have routine,
“Training every day, it’s important. Not drinking too much…with my depression, if I’m not looking after myself it manifests more like a mania.
“I always thought of depression as taking you to a dark room in a stoop. I try to be funnier and end up being shocking and contentious.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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