Monday 24 April 2017

Nicolas Roche: Chris Froome's missed drug test was a lesson to all of us

Team Sky team mates Nicolas Roche and Chris Froome
Team Sky team mates Nicolas Roche and Chris Froome
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Nicolas Roche has learned a valuable lesson from the story of Chris Froome's missed drug test earlier this year.

Despite much speculation about his participation in the event after his name was omitted from a Tour de France team list inadvertently posted to the official squad website last week, Roche will line up as road captain for Sky on Sunday.

Froome made a candid admission this week that he missed a test earlier this year during a short break in Italy with wife Michelle, when staff at the luxury hotel where they were staying refused to allow anti-doping testers to disturb the couple.

Roche admitted that Froome's experience was one which will change the way he acts when on holiday.

"It's not that the testers need to know where we are everyday, the testers did know where he was. He didn't miss tests because he put the wrong address in, he missed tests because he did not tell the hotel reception that he's a professional cyclist and it was possible that the UCI testers could show up a the hotel," he told Off The Ball on Newstalk.

"The only reason he missed the test was because the hotel kept private that he was staying in the hotel, as any hotel will do.

"I've been on private holidays where I put the right address, but I'll admit that I never went to the hotel reception and said 'I'm a professional athlete, you might get someone knocking at 6am, please let them in'."

Roche was asked if he was confident that the Tour de France, which begins in Utrecht on Sunday, would be a clean race and said: "I hope so, it's very difficult to talk for everyone. I certainly hope so.

"I'm reading on the news today that they are finally doing the night testing which I think is a step further in the anti-doping fight.

"I was reading some interesting articles during the week about these motorised bikes and I definitely hope that the UCI and the tournament orgnaisers are going to do a lot of tests again, maybe it's a myth, but to prevent people from being tempted to use it because the technology is out there."

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