Sir Bradley Wiggins' children bullied over Lance Armstrong row

Sir Bradley Wiggins says he had to move his children to a new school because of "horrendous" bullying following the Lance Armstrong drugs scandal.

Armstrong was last year stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from all competitive sport for doping.

Olympic champion Wiggins, 33, said: "The Lance Armstrong thing... My kids started getting harassed at school.

"'Is your dad on drugs? He won the Tour. Is he the same as Lance Armstrong?' Horrible."

Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, the first Briton to do so, only months before details began to emerge of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping programme.

Armstrong's cycling career

Lance Armstrong
  • Born: Plano, Texas on 18 September 1971
  • Tour de France victories (before they were stripped): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (22 individual stage wins)
  • World Championships road race victory: 1993
  • Battle with cancer: Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. The disease spreads through his body. Launches Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer. Declared cancer-free in 1997 after brain surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Retirement: Announces he will retire after the 2005 Tour de France, which he wins. Angered by drug allegations against him, Armstrong announces in September 2008 he will return to professional cycling. In June 2010, he reveals via Twitter that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last. On 16 February 2011, Armstrong retires again.

It was not until January 2013 that the disgraced cyclist admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005.

Wiggins, who was knighted and named BBC Sports Personality of the Year after winning the Tour and a fourth Olympic gold at the London Games, said 2013 had been an unhappy year.

"That Tour win changed everything," said Wiggins. "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. My son getting bullied at school. I had to move my kids from that school and move them to another school.

"I felt responsible for that and it all added to my unhappiness at the time. But a year on, it feels like a complete contrast. I feel much more comfortable in my own shoes now."

Wiggins also said he and his fellow Team Sky rider Chris Froome had drawn a line under the tensions which had previously marred their relationship.

The relationship has been under scrutiny since the 2012 Tour, when Froome appeared to disobey team orders  and attacked during one stage, but Wiggins said the pair were now in a "good place" after a training camp in December.

He went on to add that his focus was now on being selected for this year's Tour, which begins in Yorkshire.

"I'd love to be back and part of that team on the Tour, especially with the start in Leeds," he told BBC Sport.

"With the crowds I think we know what to expect in the first few days and it'd be great to be part of it. That's what I'm working towards. That's been my motivation for training all winter."