• Cycling

Wiggins' children bullied over Armstrong drugs scandal

ESPN staff
February 5, 2014
Wiggins' son Ben rides alongside his father after the 2012 Tour de France © Getty Images

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed his children were bullied in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal so much that they had to be moved to another school.

Speaking to the Telegraph from Team Sky's training camp in Majorca, the 2012 Tour de France champion said his two children, Ben and Isabella, were "harassed" by classmates accusing Wiggins of also being a drug cheat.

Wiggins became the first Briton to win cycling's most prestigious event, before winning a fourth Olympic Gold at the London Games.

The victories propelled Wiggins to superstardom and earned him a knighthood, but Armstrong's admission that he doped during all seven of his Tour de Franc wins left the cycling fraternity paying the ultimate price.

For Wiggins, it was the effect on his family that hurt the most.

"That [Tour de France win] changed everything," Wiggins said. "I left home pretty much unknown and came home the most famous man in the country for that week.

"It was hard for me and the family. It affected them as well. The Lance Armstrong thing in January - my kids started getting harassed at school. 'Is your dad on drugs? He won the Tour. Is he the same as Lance Armstrong?'

"My son was getting bullied at school. I had to move my kids from that school and move them to another.

"Horrendous stuff. Horrible. I felt responsible for that and it all added to my unhappiness at the time."

But Wiggins admitted that, a little more than a year on, his life "feels like a complete contrast".

He added: "I feel much more comfortable in my own shoes now."

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