May 29,2014 (ISN) – Great Britain’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome has criticised the International Cycling Union (UCI) for not subjecting either himself or other top cyclists to any out-of-competition drug tests while at a training camp in Tenerife.
Froome, the Team Sky rider who won last year’s Tour de France after finishing second behind teammate Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012, took to Twitter to slam the governing body.
He expressed his “disappointment” that despite there being three major Tour de France contenders staying on the island, there has been no out of competition testing throughout his two week stay.
Along with himself, the other two riders he was referring two are 2007 and 2009 champion Alberto Contador, who returned from a two year doping suspension last year after testing positive for clenbuterol, and 2013 Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali.
The message posted on Twitter criticising the lack of testing ©Twitter
This direct approach adopted by Froome to bring about more concrete change follows similarly public calls by leading tennis players Andy Murray and Roger Federer to introduce more rigorous drug testing in their sport in recent years.The Kenya-born Briton, no doubt frustrated at the lack of opportunities to illustrate what, he claims, are his clean credentials after a constant stream of doping questions during the Tour de France last year, claims to have only ever been tested once during his many altitude-training visits to Tenerife.He added it was “in everyone’s best interests to be able to prove they are clean no matter where they train”.
The UCI claim they will look into the allegations but it is nevertheless embarrassing situation for Briton Brian Cookson, elected as President of the world governing body last September after campaigning on a manifesto to clean up the sport following years of damaging drugs allegations under predecessors Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen. “The UCI has seen the comment by Tour de France winner Chris Froome regarding a lack of out of competition testing at Mount Teide, Tenerife,” a spokesman told insidethegames
today. “Out of competition testing is clearly an essential component of any effective anti-doping programme and we are looking into the matter with the Cycling Anti Doping Foundation, which is responsible for planning and executing anti doping tests in cycling.”
Since being appointed to replace Pat McQuaid as UCI President last September Brian Cookson (right) has spoken frequently about tightening doping restrictions
©AFP/Getty ImagesThe UCI has responsibility for anti-doping tests and riders are obliged to provide the governing body with their whereabouts at all times to allow random anti-doping tests as part of the scheme which provides a biological passport.Since Cookson was elected there has been much rhetoric about tightening anti-doping measures and adopting a new “zero-tolerance” approach.Doubt has already been cast over this after Australian Michael Rodgers, a former teammate of Froome at Team Sky, escaped a doping ban after testing positive for clenbuterol, the same substance as Contador.The UCI backed his claim that a positive test for the substance resulted from the consumption of contaminated meat.