23/09/2016 Newsnight


With Kirsty Wark. Bradley Wiggins's former team doctor questions his steroid use. Plus Aleppo under siege, and what next for Labour?

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What's to become of a cycling superhero?


Since the hacking of his medical records, Sir Bradley Wiggins has


been mired in questions over his use of a powerful steroid before


Tonight his former team doctor tells Newsnight he was "surprised"


I would say now, certainly in retrospect, it doesn't look good,


From a health or sporting perspective.


We hear from a doctor at the hospital attacked today


where two weeks ago we watched an operation guided


I'll be talking to the surgeon who directed that operation


It's 99% sure it's going to be Jeremy Corbyn's big day tomorrow.


But can the rebels and the Corbynistas learn to live together?


The Labour Party unites behind whoever wins,


I hope and believe it will be Jeremy Corbyn.


I do not approve of a decent 66-year-old man being mugged


in broad daylight in cold blood by people who do not see


A former team doctor of the cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has questioned


the decision to allow him to inject banned steroids ahead


Prentice Steffen, the doctor at Sir Bradley's former


team Garmin Slipstream, has weighed into the debate


over his former rider's use of a powerful corticosteroid.


Many believe it has potent performance enhancing benefits.


Sir Bradley, who is Britain's most decorated Olympian,


was given permission by cycling authorities to inject the drug ahead


of three major stage races, including the 2012 Tour de


Sir Bradley and his former cycling Team Sky have said his use


of the drug was for legitimate medical reasons, and that no


But the disclosure of the medical data, which was stolen and leaked


by a group of suspected Russian hackers, has polarised


the sport of cycling, which is has been attempting


to confine its troubled history of drug-taking to the past.


Team Sky launched in 2009 as the poster boy for a clean cycling.


Accepting the mantle of dragging the sport out of the doping gutter. And


proving the biggest races could be won without crossing the line into


using banned drugs. But where that line actually lies is under more


scrutiny than ever before. With the disclosures from the suspected


Russian hackers over the therapeutic use exemptions for TUEs, obtain for


its former star rider, Sir Bradley Wiggins. And whether these have


strayed into the so-called grey area between clean and doping. From Team


Sky, pro cycling... Sir Bradley Wiggins! And asthma and allergy


sufferer, the stolen data revealed he was given permission to inject


the banned drug triamcinolone, a powerful corticosteroid just ahead


of three major races, including the 2012 edition of the Tour de France,


which he won, becoming the first Briton ever to do so. The story has


polarised the sport. This is, after all, stolen data containing the


medal records of our greatest ever Olympian. Data which shows that


neither he nor Team Sky have broken any rules, they have followed the


cycling authorities' procedures to the limit. So why is this being


discussed? Because there are those who believe that this was unethical.


But it does not smell right. And now the figures intimate with the world


of cycling and the fight against performing its enhancing drugs,


including Sir Bradley Wiggins' team doctor, have told Newsnight they


fear something is amiss. 2009 was his breakthrough year in road


racing. Riding for the Garmin Slipstream team. Doctor Prentice


Steffen cannot comment on Sir Bradley Wiggins' private records but


he did say this... I was surprised to see that there were TUEs


documented for intramuscular triamcinolone just before three


major events, the Tour de France and the Giro D'Italia. We do think it is


coincidental that a big dose of intramuscular corticosteroid would


be needed at that time of year at that exact time before the most


important race of the season. The rules for obtaining TUEs stipulate


these conditions. The banned drug can only be used to treat an acute


or chronic medical condition. That it is highly unlikely to produce any


additional enhancement of performance. And that there is still


reasonable therapeutic alternative. So what of the first? The


interpretation of acute or chronic is subjective. But some of those who


treat these conditions in athletes say this is not the course of action


they would expect to see. Doctor John Dickinson has worked with more


than 1000 athletes with respiratory problems. You are not being


controlled with your normal inhaler, then that medication is reserved for


individuals who have a very severe asthma responds and they are in need


of emergency care, which would suggest that particular individual


is maybe not fit and well to compete in any league road race at that


point. So what of the second condition, that the TUE must be


highly unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of


performance? Some experts say cortical strides don't but others,


including former pro cyclists, insist they do. I have come to


Denmark to meet one man who should know. Michael had been just four


stages away from winning the Tour de France in 2007 when he was thrown


out of the race for avoiding doping controls. He later blew the whistle


on his own doping and the culture within the sport at that time. Is


there any doubt in your mind that corticosteroids are put into


performance enhancing drug? There is no doubt. There are very strong.


Banned performance enhancing. What sort of benefits would


corticosteroids give the rider? Well, Edward postpone the sensation


of fatigue, increased recovery speed and most importantly, quite easily,


I would maybe drop one or none two kilos, which is maybe a problem when


you want to climb mountains fast. It would help you burn fat? Yes, it


would strip the body of excess fat in quite a short period of time. And


you have watched this happening to your body? Yes, it is very fast and


very effective in that sense. So what of this depletion that they


should be no reasonable therapeutic alternative? For severe asthma and


allergy attacks, the people we spoke to agreed that triamcinolone will


certainly do the job. But that does not make it necessarily the right


drug for the job. I have never myself been involved with another


late who is going that far in terms of treatment for an asthmatic


condition, we really concentrate on working on athletes to make sure


that when we know they are asthmatic we make sure they're on the ultimate


inhaler therapy so they never need to go to that level, to go above or


into the TUE area. Had Bradley Wiggins needed triamcinolone when


with his former team, he would have been deemed to sick to race, in


which he finished fourth. Garman and the rest of the peloton formed a


group called the movement for credible cycling, whose members were


bound by strict rules around racing on corticosteroids, Team Sky never


joined. I was never there to see what Bradley's condition was. But


many of us would say that if you are in bad shape to need medically to


resort to high-powered corticosteroids, you should not be


racing at all and that is the position of the MPC see. Only Sir


Bradley Wiggins and the Team Sky doctors know the full details of his


medical condition. What we do know is he had a TUE from standard


inhaler in 2009 which would no longer need an exemption. And it was


in that year that Bradley Wiggins made his breakthrough, finishing


fourth in the tour of France. Without any corticosteroid TUE.


According to the TUE form in 2011 and nasal endoscopy was performed


with Team Sky Doctor suggesting a more serious intervention was


required to treat Sir Bradley Burrowes like allergies. However, he


continued to race in the years following his final TUE in 2013 in


high pollen areas, albeit in a shorter and less profile race. In


2012 he published a 300 page autobiography and there is no


mention of asthma or allergies but he does speak about how healthy he


had been in 2012, suffering only from one or two minor colds. The


convicted doper, Michael Rasmus, says the pattern of Sir Bradley


Burrowes Mike TUE use look similar. Just looking at the drugs and the


dates of the injections, it looked very much like something that could


have happened ten years ago when I was riding. If you look solely at


the pattern of the TUEs of Bradley Wiggins, then you would say that


this looks very suspicious. It is something that a rider would do if


he wants to perform on a grand tour. Something that I would do something


that I did. I would say certainly that in retrospect, it does not look


good, it does not look right. From a health or sporting perspective. The


process around the granting of TUEs is now under question. Each


application is submitted by the team doctor and in the case of Bradley


Wiggins it is understood that was Doctor Richard Freeman, now the head


doctor at British cycling. The application is then supposed to be


assessed by three independent medical experts, with the relevant


sporting authority. In this case, the new CI, before being authorised.


I would say that Bradley is probably at the bottom of the list, to be


held personally responsible. I think his doctor and his team, to make the


decision to apply for that TUE, is questionable and then I think, for


the international cycling union or UK cycling or the World Anti-Doping


Agency to sign off on that, that application, all things considered,


I think really bad as the end point where the TUE committee should have


looked at that and said, this is not acceptable. We're not going to it.


You see I told Newsnight it had a robust TUE policy. This is a story


that seems to be painted in shades of grey and even then, we don't have


the full picture. But at least in the eyes of one former cheat, there


remains a clear line between right and wrong. Well, a lot of riders


feel that they are playing by the rules. But I think that once you


actually make that decision, to get the certificate for the wrong


reasons, then you are crossing the line. Sir Bradley Burrowes met


representatives did not respond to questions from Newsnight. But


previously they said in a statement...


Sir Bradley Wiggins team insist that nothing has been done that is wrong.


But for some, it is a situation with echoes of cycling past that was


hoped had disappeared for good. And a situation which some believe needs


all the facts disclosed. And there will be an exclusive


interview with Bradley Wiggins on the Andrew Marr Show


on Sunday morning. Aleppo has been under


intense bombardment today. More than 45 people are reported


to have been killed in rebel held areas, but it's not clear


whether it was from Syrian The White House said tonight that


Russia's credibility is at stake. We understand that a hospital


was attacked - the same hospital from where you may remember,


Newsnight was able to bring you film of an operation being guided


from London over Skype Today we got alarming


news of the current I must warn you that his film begins


with an image that some Two weeks ago this man


got a new jaw, thanks In a world first, they were talked


through how to do the operation by London surgeon Dr David Nott,


via Skype and WhatsApp. The patient is recovering well


and that is pretty amazing for a city under siege,


but tonight Newsnight has learnt that the hospital is running out


of food and neither doctors nor patients have


eaten properly for days. So this man who was pulled


through an incredibly complicated Today, the surgeon in Aleppo


sent Dr Nott an update. The writing on the cluster bomb


is in the Russian alphabet. We cannot verify the photo,


but Human Rights Watch has identified cluster bombs being used


at least ten times The Russians have consistently


denied using cluster bombs. You have many of them


in a larger bomb casing. These are dispersed


above the target. They fall onto the target


and they explode on contact. We find that these type


of cluster munitions, many of them do not explode


and you get remains like this, partial remains of them as you can


see in these photographs. What is interesting about these,


is the specific type of cluster munitions was not seen


until the Russian bombing campaign in Syria started and we also have


images from the Russian Ministry of Defence that show Russian jets


using these cluster bombs in Syria. Back in the hospital,


doctors sent these images of children being operated


on to David Nott who This boy has lost right arm and this


is the latest victim. Newsnight has been told that five


rockets hit the area around Just two weeks ago, the doctors


were breaking medical boundaries Tonight, they are hungry,


under fire, under siege David Nott - the surgeon who you saw


in that piece - joins us. Good evening. You are getting


increasingly frantic messages today then. From this morning onwards,


they sent a message to save the hospital had been bond with cluster


bombs and I was asking if they were OK and there was no response with --


from hours on end and then there was a response to say they were OK but


they were inundated with patience and there are no beds, the beds are


full, no ITU beds and they were running out of intravenous fluids to


resuscitate their patients. A dire situation. These doctors are working


night and day. 24 hours a day, there are only three of them now, three


surgeons, very good surgeons, well-qualified, but


they are there constantly. When we watched you on the Newsnight


filament gauging the operation, extraordinary, in the hospital, it


would be unbelievable if they had managed to keep that man alive, they


had done all that and then through lack of a feeding tube... He was not


able to eat and we put a tube into his stomach. Every patient that goes


through trauma goes through a catabolic phase where you break


down, you need protein, carbohydrates, fluid to continue the


building up of the healing process and if you have not got any of those


nutrients, then you are... Things will break down, your operation will


break down, everything will break down. They showed me the photograph


of him today and it is wonderful, but he has had no food for 24 hours


and neither have the doctors. They said all they are


having is super and water. We know tonight that there is no running


water in Aleppo, what about the sale eyeing drips? There is no say line


to resuscitate patients. If the patient comes in without any blood


pressure, they need to resuscitate them with fluids and they do not


have any. Apart from talking to these doctors, what is it that you


are actually doing for them on so many different levels? When this


operation happened, it was fantastic, it was a fantastic morale


booster. They were happy, we got information that they were so happy,


it went round the whole of Aleppo, everyone saw the film, they wanted


more information, I started sending them books and we broke the siege by


surgical aid. It was wonderful. This week has been a reversal. Do you


feel about psychological impact you had, every time you speak to them,


use break the siege? It is wonderful to be able to do that. I break the


siege and they are happy and it is great. Do you think if the people


who were making the decisions about what to do in Aleppo could see what


was happening in these subterranean operating theatres, do you think


there would be a different set of equations? Yes. Everyone is talking


about the political aspects of Russia and America, but what is


actually happening on the ground, these guys are working day and night


to try and save civilian patients, children and everything else and it


is a wonderful actor and if only people could see the humanitarian


side, what they are doing is amazing. Thank you very much indeed.


It would be a massive shock if Owen Smith were to be elected


Labour leader tomorrow - but not impossible.


However, it is almost certain that Jeremy Corbyn will win again,


and then the battle to restore the party begins.


But when one of Corbyn's main backers, the Unison boss


Dave Prentis, writes in the Times today that Labour is unelectable -


his exact words "Labour looks as far away from power and changing


the country for the better than at any point in my lifetime",


you know there is a Herculean task ahead.


Here's our Political Editor Nick Watt.


How will pan out,? There is widespread expectation that he will


be re-elected. We will hold back from pronouncing on that until the


envelope is opened. We have some idea of a meeting later on in the


day and how that will go. There was a deadlock in a meeting earlier over


the issue of whether Labour MPs should be entitled to elect members


of the Shadow Cabinet and as I understand it, the non-Corbin forces


are going to hold fire and not say a great deal and they are going to


hope that Jeremy Corbyn will eventually think that in the spirit


of his victory if he wins he should form a Shadow Cabinet including the


likes of Yvette Cooper in the frame and


to do that, he would have to allow Labour MPs to elect members to the


Shadow Cabinet. Jeremy Corbyn is not expecting a great deal to happen at


the NEC but here's hoping he gets a new mandate, he will be able to push


gently for his idea that party members should have a say on who


sits on the Shadow Cabinet. We thought we would take a look at the


State of play in the party and here is my film.


Until just a decade ago it bestrode the political stage.


But the party which established the modern welfare


As old battles are re-fought and debates turn into bitter personal


For now, there is a lull in the fighting.


Labour's warring factions have paused for breath as


they wait to hear if Jeremy Corbyn has won.


It is not since the 1930s, when the pacifist George Lansbury


drew adoring crowds, that Labour has been


led by such an unlikely Prime Ministerial figure.


Three cheers for the international social democracy!


But over two consecutive summers, Jeremy Corbyn has drawn


similarly passionate crowds, prompting his admirers to say he is


As the dust settles on this leadership contest,


is now time to accept his authority, if he wins.


I think it is going to be incredibly important that the


Labour Party united behind whoever wins.


I hope and believe it will be Jeremy Corbyn.


decent 66-year-old man being mugged in broad


daylight in cold blood by


people who do not see that it is time for a change.


Unity means listening on both sides but I am


heartened by suggestions that people already are talking about coming


There are all sorts of potential olive branches on offer.


But it cannot just be a rhetorical olive branch.


It has to be real, it has to be backed by action.


The job of a leader is to stop bad things


happening, not just to say, I am not accountable


So it is about leading by example, it is about creating a culture where


the leader's office and everybody around the leader and the


PLP behave in a comradely way that shows we are a party of


There are still deep doubts about Jeremy Corbyn among the


172 Labour MPs who voted in favour of a no-confidence motion in the


Leading figures are saying he would have to mend his


ways before they would agree to rejoin his front bench.


Well, we have got to change the approach and


And that is the first task for whoever is elected leader tomorrow.


I resigned from the Shadow Cabinet because not of policy differences


but because of a fundamental disagreement with the sort of


approach that says this is a battle, this is a war.


And it must be won and dissenting voices must be silenced.


I think a Shadow Cabinet can function and should function


with policy disagreements, that is how you get the right answers.


But a political party, a social movement,


a Shadow Cabinet simply cannot survive if you refuse to hear


dissenting voices and work as a team to try and resolve differences.


Then it is not a Shadow Cabinet, it is


One critic says there are two sides to the


Like any movement it has a light side and a dark


The challenge for the Labour Party is to harness that positive


energy, it is fantastic that we have so many young people who have joined


our party but there is a darker side of the movement.


Which I think becomes more about a personality cult.


While Jeremy Corbyn will be able to establish some


form of front bench, his opponents are not giving up.


They are fighting to ensure Corbyn supporters cannot win control


It will be a battle between the heirs of Tony


Benn, who wanted to increase the role of party members, and the


custodians of Clause I of the Labour Party constitution.


This stresses the importance of a


Parliamentary Labour Party in seeking to form a government.


That being a test, can we get into government?


It certainly seems to have been accepted by the Jeremy


Corbyn campaign this time round and that is good,


Because I think it is important that we become a movement


But our primary purpose is to get into government


and that distinguishes us from NGOs or protest groups.


One former frontbencher says voters are switched off


We are stuck in an argument about how


to wrest control of a machine without a real vision about what we


There are real pressing debates going on in this


country and at the moment, because we are locked


in this internal war, Labour simply is not thinking


We are not just failing to be an effective opposition, we're


also failing to be an alternative to this Tory


government and frankly it


The public will not forgive us unless we stop arguing


with each other and start to look outwards to the country.


Some of Jeremy Corbyn's former comrades on


the left believe the party is facing the worst crisis in its history.


Jeremy, and I am sure he would be the first to concede this, is no


But in addition, he never has attained, and I fear he won't,


the stature of somebody who could be Prime Minister.


We are facing the biggest crisis, I believe, that the party has faced,


even compared with the Ramsay MacDonald defection, what was that,


80 years ago or so, and the crisis that followed the 1979 defeat and


the breakaway by the social Democratic party and the defection


of significant numbers of Labour members and leaders. This is more


serious. Corbyn's old friend Chris Mullin who has not supported his


leadership believes that Corbyn has disproved the central thesis of his


own landmark 1982 thriller. In a very British coup, the unseen state,


ensured that a left-wing Labour leader would fail. It is not the


unseen hand of the establishment that is seeking to undermine this,


the establishment hardly need bother themselves because Labour is doing a


pretty good job itself. The contortions in the Labour Party are


even causing alarm amongst Tories. Of course, it looks at first sight


as if it is to the advantage of one party if its main opponents are in


the state of some disarray. Actually my experience is that the government


does a better job of governing if it has an opposition keeping it on its


toes and I hope the Labour Party, as it will, will eventually work its


way back to a point were we are having a more sensible discussion.


As the warring tribe gathers in Liverpool tonight, there is a


growing realisation that Labour can ill afford a repeat of the


last year and must push for a lease some semblance of unity. My


messages, do not leave this party, do not quit it and splitting it


would be disastrous. I think something very exciting has


happened. I am one of hundreds of thousands of new members to the


Labour Party in recent months and I would like members of the PLP, many


of whom have been in the party all their lives, to feel encouraged by


that and not threatened and hopefully we can bring all of these


very exciting forces together and unite. Tomorrow in Liverpool, Labour


will clear up the pieces and embark on the next age of its momentous


journey, nobody has any clue of the destination. Our political editor.


That's almost it for tonight, but before we go...


The government has announced plans to re-classify all cars made before


1977 as "classic" cars - meaning they are exempt from MOTs.


This means that the humble Ford Cortina, once a mainstay


of Britain's roads, will now be branded a collectors item.


We leave you with Newsnight's homage to a new classic.


# She gives him love on the leatherette.


# But she only loves him because he's got a Cortina.


# But she only loves him because he's got a Cortina.


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