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.