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Sir Bradley Wiggins may be forced to sell Olympic medals after declaring bankruptcy

Sir Bradley Wiggins could be forced to sell all his Olympic medals, as well as the other trophies and memorabilia he has collected over the course of his career, after the former Tour de France winner was declared bankrupt in court.

Wiggins, 44, who retired in 2016 after winning eight Olympic medals, five of them gold, became the first British rider to win the Tour in 2012. He opened the London Games that summer, famously ringing the bell to signal the start. of an opening ceremony broadcast to a global audience of hundreds of millions.

Wiggins won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year trophy later that year and was knighted in the 2013 New Years Honors for services to cycling.

As a cult figure, much of the luster was taken off Wiggins’ career after he retired in 2016, when a Russian hacking group leaked medical information on dozens of high-profile athletes, including Wiggins.

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Wiggins’ use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions – drugs used to treat medical conditions that would otherwise be banned – before some of the biggest races of his career was seen by MPs as an ethical boundary. Wiggins always denied cheating and insisted the drugs were intended to treat pollen allergies.

In recent years, Wiggins has faced highly publicized financial problems when his company Wiggins Rights Limited went into voluntary liquidation in 2020, leaving creditors including HM Revenue & Customs owed more than £300,000.

In November last year there were reports that the 43-year-old was at risk of going bankrupt due to unpaid debts totaling almost £1 million, after documents filed by administrators at Companies House showed he had yet to pay back any of the money he owed would have paid. have agreed to repay a loan granted to him.

According to The timesWiggins was officially declared bankrupt in Lancaster County Court earlier this week.

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Trustees would now be appointed to ‘seize and sell’ his assets, including medals and trophies, according to the report.

Paul Rouse, head of client services at accountancy firm Forvis Mazars, said: “Sir Bradley Wiggins is a British sporting icon and if he finds himself in this financial position, ten years after his peak, it will be an extremely worrying fall. out of grace.

“A receiver will be appointed to seize and sell his assets, possibly including medals and trophies from his successful sporting past, as was recently the case with Boris Becker.

“As you would expect, those involved in elite sport are often solely focused on their primary goals: winning titles and pursuing sporting excellence.

“Professionals will surround them to advise on the financial benefits that will flow from that success, and they would be wise to ensure that the advisors they choose are reliable and that they secure their client’s position in the long term.”

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Wiggins has spoken movingly in recent years about his struggles with depression, with fame and with the breakdown of his marriage to his wife Cath, with whom he has two children, Ben and Bella.

Wiggins revealed that many of his problems stemmed from his troubled relationship with his own father, Gary, a former professional track cyclist who abandoned Wiggins as a child and was found beaten to death in a New South Wales town in 2008.

A year ago, Wiggins also revealed that he was sexually abused by a coach when he was a young, up-and-coming athlete.

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