Bradley Wiggins reveals he was sexually groomed as a child by coach

·2-min read


Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was sexually groomed by a coach at the age of 13.
The former Tour de France winner and five-time Olympic gold medallist explained how a difficult relationship with his stepfather meant he didn't feel like he could open up about his horrific ordeal.
He told Men's Health UK magazine: "I was groomed by a coach when I was younger - I was about 13 - and I never fully accepted that."
Asked if he was groomed sexually, he added: "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***** 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."
Although his estranged father - who left the family when Bradley was just 18 months old - has been absent for much of his life, his dad's death in 2008 still hangs over the cyclist with no one ever charged for his murder.
Bradley 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 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."
Meanwhile, Bradley opened up about his own battle with depression and the importance of "routine" and "training every day".
He explained: "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."
Bradley Wiggins was speaking to Men's Health 'Talking Heads' columnist, Alastair Campbell, in the May issue of the magazine, on sale from 20th April. Also available as a digital edition.
Bradley will be riding from Scotland to the Isle of Wight on 25-29 April for Shoulder to Shoulder, in association with Mr Porter Health in Mind and Le Blanq. Read more at www.menshealth.com/uk.

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