Paul Kimmage accuses Bradley Wiggins of 'attacking the messenger'

Ex-Sunday Times sports reporter Paul Kimmage accused cyclist Bradley Wiggins of attacking the messenger after the Tour de France winner said he had been “eaten up” by his interest in the Lance Armstrong saga.
 
Kimmage was one of only a handful of journalists who pursued the seven-time Tour de France winner, alongside the likes of former Sunday Times colleague David Walsh.

In an interview with Sky Sports News Wiggins this week singled out Paul Kimmage for apparent criticism.

In an extract (available here on Irish radio station News Talk  15 Jan, part one, 11m 40secs) - Wiggins revealed he would not be watching this week's highly-anticipated Oprah Winfrey interview with Armstrong.

Wiggins said:

There are a lot of people that are eaten up by it [the Armstrong scandal] and very bitter over the whole situation. I think of us as a team it’s sort of the last thing that we’re worried about because we’re so concentrated on what we’re doing this year.

But you’ve have seen the reaction to it over the last few months and there’s angry people about that are taking their frustrations and venting their anger in all different directions.

Commenting specifically on Kimmage, he continued:

I mean we saw last week with Paul Kimmage with me and the team he’s just eaten up with it, and I think to people like that it’s going to mean a hell of a lot. What they do with their lives after he does admit it is anyone’s guess.

I think a lot of people want that, they need that closure in their life really because they’ve been battling for so long for this. It will be a great day for a lot of people and quite a sad day for the sport in some ways. But I think it has been a sad couple of months for the sport in that sense because the 90s are pretty much a write-off now.

The News Talk presenters contrasted Wiggins’ comments with those of 2008 Olympic and world road race champion Nicola Cooke, who made a blistering attack on Armstrong in an interview with the Press Assocation.

They also questioned why Wiggins felt it necessary to name-check Kimmage and others and “make them out to be the people at fault here in some way”.

Kimmage took to Twitter to accuse Wiggins of following a "blueprint for success" which was  "1.Ignore the message. 2. Shoot the messenger."

He added:

Kimmage notes in this piece for the Daily Mail (published in July) that Wiggins’ Team Sky hired Geert Leinders in 2010, a former member of the medical staff at Rabobank when it was home to a rider named Michael Rasmussen, who was thrown off the 2007 tour after he missed three doping tests.

In this GQ interview Wiggins described how hard he finds it dealing with the issue of drugs as a clean rider:

I find it incredibly difficult, I don't mind admitting that. What angers me is that I feel I have to justify my position now and what I am achieving. I understand why people ask the questions they do about cycling, but for me, personally, it is something I struggle to cope with and to keep responding to. I feel uncomfortable being the voice of today's riders, like I am having to atone for the sins of another generation.

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