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I was abused by a coach at 13

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At 12, Sir Bradley Wiggins told a teacher he would be an Olympic champion – and he went on to win eight medals in four consecutive Games, as well as winning the Tour de France.

But the success came at a high price – and the legendary cyclist has now revealed he was abused by a trainer as a teenager.

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Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was abused by a trainer as a teenager
The legendary cyclist has won eight medals in four consecutive Games, in addition to winning the Tour de France

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The legendary cyclist has won eight medals in four consecutive Games, in addition to winning the Tour de France
The doping charges against Sir Bradley had such an impact that his wife, who suffers from bipolar disorder, ended up in rehab.

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The doping charges against Sir Bradley had such an impact that his wife, who suffers from bipolar disorder, ended up in rehab.

“I had treatment when I was younger – I was around 13 – and I never fully came to terms with that,” he told Men’s Health UK magazine.

“All of this scarred me as an adult…I buried it. My stepfather was quite violent with me – he used to call me f****t because I wore Lycra and all, so I didn’t think I could tell him.

“I was so lonely. I just wanted to get out of the environment. I became so insular.

“I was a pretty weird teenager in a lot of ways and I think riding the bike stemmed from adversity.”

Sir Bradley, 41, made the shocking allegations as part of the magazine’s Talking Heads series, adding that he had suffered from depression throughout his career, which he manages through regular exercise.

“I have to have a routine,” he said. “Training every day is important. Don’t drink too much.

“With my depression, if I don’t take care of myself, it feels more like a mania. I try to be funnier and end up being shocking and controversial.

“Dad was a wasted talent”

As well as dealing with the memory of being abused, Bradley’s mental health issues stem from a series of traumas, including living with his allegedly abusive stepfather and the sudden death of his biological father, the champ. Australian cycling champion Gary Wiggins in 2008.

Born in Belgium, his mother Linda moved him back to London when he was two after Gary left the family – and the separation had a lasting impact.

Gary – an alcoholic and drug addict who smuggled amphetamines into Bradley’s diaper – returned to Australia and did not see his son for 16 years.

“He abandoned us,” Sir Bradley said in 2015. “It will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

He said having children of his own, Ben, 15, and Isabella, 13, brought home the pain of being rejected by his father.

Bradley added: “It started when I got mine, not just ‘how can you leave and not have contact or wonder at some point what he’s doing? but for my mother too, just leaving without a word, or money.

The couple reconciled when Bradley was 18 and training in Australia, but Gary was plagued by addiction and the relationship broke down.

“He lived in a trailer park and didn’t have much to his name,” Bradley said.

“He was banned from driving. Once in a while, he would take one and drink himself to a stupor.

Tragically, in 2008 Gary, 55, was found unconscious beside a road in New South Wales and died a short time later.

He had suffered fatal head injuries during a fight at a party, where he was knocked to the ground several times before being kicked out – and Australian police told Bradley he had been murdered.

It appeared when I got mine, not just ‘how could you leave without having contact or wondering at some point what he was doing?’ but for my mother too, just leaving without a word, or money.

An inquest determined the cause of death as a severe blow to the back of the head, but entered an open verdict due to a lack of evidence.

Despite the problematic past with his father, who had a reputation for supplying amphetamines to other runners, Bradley hails him as “my hero” and the inspiration behind his cycling success.

But he says his mental health suffered from Gary’s death and the lack of closure that a conviction for his death may have brought.

He told Men’s Health: “It was definitely because of my dad, who never got any answers when he was murdered.

“He left us when I was little, so I first met him when I was 18. We kind of rekindled a relationship but then we didn’t speak to each other for the last couple of years before we got together. he is not assassinated.

“He was my hero. I wanted to prove my worth to him. He was a good cyclist – he could have been really good – but it was a wasted talent.

“He was alcoholic, manic-depressive, quite violent and he was taking a lot of amphetamines and (sports) drugs at the time.”

Sir Bradley, who dreamed of being a footballer before seeing Chris Boardman claim Olympic victory in 1992, bought his first racing bike aged 12 with £1,700 compensation which he received after breaking his collarbone in a road accident.

He became a junior champion – but his love of cycling made him a target for bullies in the tough estate of Kilburn, north London, where he grew up.

He also alleges that his stepfather, who separated from Linda when Bradley was young, regularly kicked him.

Bradley won his first Olympic medal, a bronze medal in the team pursuit event, in Sydney in 2000.

Four years later, in Athens, he won gold in the individual pursuit, silver in the team pursuit and bronze in another discipline.

“He was my hero. I wanted to prove my worth to him. He was a good cyclist – he could have been really good – but it was a wasted talent.

He won two gold medals in the individual and team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 before switching from track to road.

Surprisingly, it was at the height of his success, in 2012, that he fell in love with cycling.

Becoming the first rider to win both Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year, just a week apart, he became a national hero and also received the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year award.

The image of the victorious horseman posing on a throne outside Hampton Court Palace became one of the defining moments of the London Games, and he saw out the year with a knighthood on the New Year’s list.

But he secretly struggled with life in the spotlight.

“After winning the Tour de France and then winning the Olympics, life was never the same again,” he says.

“I adopted a veil”

“I was immersed in that fame and adulation that came with success. I am an introverted and private person. I didn’t know who I was, so I adopted a kind of veil, a kind of rock star veil.

“It wasn’t really me. It was probably the most unhappy period of my life. All I did was win for others and the pressures that came with being the first British Tour winner. I really struggled with that.

After winning the Tour de France and then winning the Olympics, life was never the same.

But worse was to come when doping allegations were brought against him in 2016, after Russian hackers released documents revealing he had used a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate. three times for taking the banned drug triamcinolone, including before his historic 2012 Tour victory.

A 14-month investigation into the allegations, led by UK Anti-Doping, was unable to find sufficient evidence of the contents of a Jiffy bag delivered to Sir Bradley’s Team Sky tour bus.

But a devastating report by a parliamentary select committee on digital culture, media and sport in March 2018 revealed that Bradley and Team Sky had been given triamcinolone to enhance his performance, not for medical reasons.

Sir Bradley and Team Sky continue to deny the claims and he later revealed the impact of the scandal on his then-wife Cath – who suffers from bipolar disorder and ended up in rehab – adding that his own life was a “living hell”.

He told the Guardian in 2018: “You watch your family suffer, and it’s terrible.

“It almost killed my wife. She ended up in rehab for it.

“Because she’s bipolar, she has this fear of shame, people are watching her all the time.

“You couldn’t say that at the time because you asked, because you won the Tour de France. No, I didn’t ask that, actually. I only asked for a fair trial .

He added: ‘What I should have done was murder someone because then I would have had proper rights. I would have had more rights as a murderer.

Unfortunately, the ordeal took its toll and the couple separated two years later. Sir Bradley is now in a relationship with public relations manager Laura Hartshorne.

The sports legend, who retired in 2016, credited his mum Linda for his cycling success, saying she took on £50,000 of debt to support her passion.

“She did everything for me to pursue my dream,” he said. “I take care of her but she’s not a woman who wants a lot in return.”

Tragically, the men in her life left a more toxic legacy.

  • Bradley Wiggins was speaking in the May issue of Men’s Health, on sale from tomorrow.
Sir Bradley Wiggins spoke in the May issue of Men's Health, on sale from tomorrow

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Sir Bradley Wiggins spoke in the May issue of Men’s Health, on sale from tomorrow
Her biological father Gary died suddenly in 2008.

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Her biological father Gary died suddenly in 2008.
He bought his first racing bike aged 12 with £1,700 compensation which he received after breaking his collarbone in a road accident.

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He bought his first racing bike aged 12 with £1,700 compensation which he received after breaking his collarbone in a road accident.
In 2012, he became the first rider to win both the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year.

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In 2012, he became the first rider to win both the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year.
Sir Bradley saw off the year with a knighthood in the New Year Honors List

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Sir Bradley saw off the year with a knighthood in the New Year Honors List