Beleaguered cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is facing more criticism, this time over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme that used a charity as a front which has since been closed down.
Already reeling from claims made in an MPs report that he used drugs to enhance his performance in winning the Tour de France in 2012, he has now the first person named as an investor in the Cup Trust.
Although it was not acting illegally, the charity was closed down after it emerged it was being used by around 400 wealthy individuals to avoid tax.
The Times reported that the Trust got £176m of donations in 2010 and 2011 but only gave £150,000 to good causes and carried out trades to generate gift aid claims that could help reduce the tax bills of donors.
HM Revenue and Customs turned down an appeal by the charity to claim £46m in gift aid.
It is not known how much Wiggins put into the scheme and a spokesman for the cyclist told the Times: "settled all tax liabilities a number of years ago and has paid all taxes due" and that there were "no open inquiries with HMRC".
The charity also attempted to claim £46m in gift aid from HM Revenue and Customs against the value of the donations, although this was rejected by the tax authorities.
Margaret Hodge, ex-head of the Commons public accounts committee, described it as one of the most shocking of all tax avoidance schemes. "To exploit a mechanism designed to encourage charitable giving in order to avoid tax is just disgusting," she said.
Meanwhile, Wiggins defended himself against claims by MPs that injections that were to treat asthma were in fact used to cut his weight. He dismissed the allegations, saying: "I'd have had more rights if I'd murdered someone".