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Leader Wiggins lashes out at doping remarks

Sky Procycling rider and leader's yellow jersey Bradley Wiggins of Britain (C) cycles with teammate and compatriot Christopher Froome of Britain (L) during the eighth stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race between Belfort and Porrentruy, July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

PORRENTRUY, Switzerland (Reuters) - Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins angrily rebutted Twitter accusations of doping on Sunday, saying “bone idleness” was behind the view that a cyclist cannot win the Tour de France without taking drugs.

Cycling has long battled a major doping problem, with a raft of top riders failing drugs tests and seven-times Tour champion Lance Armstrong being charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency last month.

After a foul-mouthed insult aimed at the band of tweeters, Wiggins told a news conference: “I can’t be doing with people like that.

“It justifies their own bone idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to anything in their lives.”

He then stood up, said “cut” and received a round of applause from the media room.

Wiggins, who holds a 10-second lead over defending champion Cadel Evans after nine days of the three-week race, also had a dig at tennis with millions more watching compatriot Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men’s final than the Tour.

“Tennis is nothing. It only lasts one and a half hours,” he barked.

Reporting by Mark Meadows