LONDON (AP) — Former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has revealed that he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was 13 years old.
The five-time Olympic champion made the allegation in an interview with Men’s Health UK magazine. He did not identify the coach.
“I was groomed by a coach when I was younger — I was about 13 — and I never fully accepted that,” said the 41-year-old Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012 and retired four years later.
Asked if he was groomed sexually, Wiggins said: “Yes. It all impacted me as an adult ... I buried it," preferring not to speak out at the time because of a difficult relationship with his stepfather.
Wiggins has previously spoken about his childhood, which included his father walking out on the family. His father was Australian cyclist Gary Wiggins, who died in 2008 following a fight at a house party.
Wiggins is one of the most decorated British Olympians. He won three individual gold medals and two team golds, the last of which was at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Wiggins won eight medals overall.
British Cycling said it was “deeply concerned by the matter" and contacted Wiggins on Tuesday “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 utilize 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.”
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