Thursday 22 February 2018

Froome team want WADA to help prove Tour leader is clean

Chris Froome celebrates as he crosses the line to win stage 15 of the Tour de France
Chris Froome celebrates as he crosses the line to win stage 15 of the Tour de France

Clearly dismayed by repeated questions about doping, the team of Tour de France leader Chris Froome volunteered to open up to independent scrutiny all of its training secrets to try to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that the Briton and his team-mates are clean.

Froome's evident physical superiority at the 100th Tour has raised eyebrows, practically inevitable in the climate of suspicion that haunts cycling after the downfall of Lance Armstrong.

Froome says that given the history of doping in cycling, he understands why there are questions and insists he is happy to answer them. Still, Froome was unhappy that doping became a main topic of his news conference yesterday, a rest day that followed his stage win on Mont Ventoux.

"I just think it's quite sad that we're sitting here the day after the biggest victory of my life, quite a historic win, talking about doping," Froome said. "Here I am basically being accused of being a cheat and a liar and that's not cool."

Comparison

Froome batted away any comparison to Armstrong, saying: "Lance cheated. I'm not cheating. End of story."

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford suggested the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) could help by appointing an expert who could pore over every facet of Froome's preparations for the Tour he's now leading by more than four minutes, with just six stages left to the finish in Paris.

This expert "can have everything that we've got. They can come and live with us, they can have all of our information, they can see all of our data, they can have access to every single training file," as well Sky riders' blood readings, weight and power data, he said.

Brailsford also challenged journalists to put their heads together and come up with ideas about what Team Sky could do to prove "beyond reasonable doubt that we're not doing anything".

"You tell me what would prove it for you?" Brailsford said. "What would be the best methodology possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that we and Chris aren't doping?"

Tour de France,

Live, TG4, 12.05/ Eurosport, 12.30

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