Sir Bradley Wiggins: Tour de France winner reveals he was sexually groomed by a coach at age of 13

Cycling legend Sir Bradley Wiggins has opened up about being sexually groomed by a coach as a teenager and spoke of a violent relationship with his stepfather

<p>Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was aged 13 (Photo: Getty Images)</p>

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was aged 13 (Photo: Getty Images)

British cycling legend Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was just 13 years old.

The 2012 Tour de France winner and three-time Olympic champion said he did not feel he could speak up at the time due to a difficult relationship with his stepfather. The 41-year-old cycling admitted that the ordeal has had an impact on his adult life.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed he was sexually groomed by a coach when he was aged 13 (Photo: Getty Images)

Speaking to Men’s Health UK magazine about his allegations, Sir Bradley said: “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****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.”

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‘A difficult childhood’

Sir Bradley made the revelation in an interview with Men’s Health ‘Talking Heads’ columnist Alastair Campbell in the May issue of the magazine, which goes on sale on 20 April.

The cycling star has previously spoken out about his struggles with depression and a difficult childhood, and explained he has spent much of his life trying to understand his relationship with his father.

Australian cyclist Gary Wiggins walked out on the family when Bradley was just two and returned to Australia.

He later developed alcohol and drug addictions and died in 2008. He was found murdered from a blow to the head following a fight at a house party.

When asked what he had tried to run from in his life, Sir Bradley said: “It was definitely to do with my dad. Never getting answers when he was murdered in 2008.

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“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 at lot of amphetamines and (sports) drugs back then.”

Year of success was ‘unhappiest period of my life’

Sir Bradley, who grew up in Kilburn, North West London, took up cycling at the age of 12 after watching the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He joined a cycling club like his dad in the 70s after being encouraged by his mum Linda.

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The 41-year-old reached the pinnacle of his sport in 2012 when he became the first British winner of the Tour, before going on to win Olympic gold in the time trial in London just days later.

Although he had further successes, including winning the world time trial in 2014 and a third Olympic team pursuit gold in 2016, Sir Bradley said 2012 was the year he stopped enjoying life as a professional cyclist.

He explained: “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.”

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But Sir Bradley added that he has now found a way to manage his mental health. He 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.”

Sir Bradley retired from professional cycling in 2016 and said at the time: “2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards, ‘feet on the ground, head in the clouds’ kids from Kilburn don’t win Olympic Golds and Tour de Frances! They do now.”