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Brian Cookson and the UCI hit back at Chris Froome rumours

UCI President responds to story in French newspaper that alleged Team SKY rider was allowed use steroids.

FOLLOWING SUNDAY’S ALLEGATIONS that Team SKY cyclist Chris Froome was granted permission to use steroids by the sport’s governing body, UCI President Brian Cookson has referred to the story as ‘smear and innuendo’ and promised the organisation will comment further in the coming days.

French Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche detailed how Froome was allegedly granted permission by the UCI to take a steroid under the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) after suffering with ‘a chill’ before the Tour of Romandie in April. Froome went on to win the race in Switzerland.

Cycling - Tour de Romandie - Stage 5 - Neuchatel to Astana - Switzerland Chris Froome pictured after winning the Tour de Romandie earlier this year Source: Sirotti/Sirotti/PA Images

The article also made reference to Cookson’s son Oli being a current employee of Team SKY and hinted at a conflict of interest.

Team SKY rubbished the story as ‘ridiculous’ while the UCI released a statement saying they had no case to answer given they had worked well within the stringent regulations.

Christopher Froome’s TUE for oral use of glucocorticosteroids was granted on April 29, 2014 based on duly documented medical history and in compliance with the applicable UCI Regulations and the relevant WADA guidelines. The TUE was granted for a limited period, following the usual procedure.

The process was fully transparent as it is UCI’s policy to systematically record all TUEs on ADAMS. WADA was therefore informed throughout the process.

The UCI wishes to emphasise that under the applicable rules – which are consistent with the WADA Code and the WADA TUE Standard and Guidelines – any rider with the same symptoms as Christopher Froome would have received a similar TUE.

The UCI would like to express its profound disappointment with the speculations that have been made suggesting its President could have any influence on the granting of TUEs. The UCI President and the UCI Administration have absolutely no involvement with decisions on TUEs. Insinuating that Brian Cookson’s son’s employment with Team Sky could have something to do with the decision to grant the TUE is an unfounded allegation which will be dealt with seriously.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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