Earlier this week, the French newspaper, Le Journal du Dimanch, heaped calumny on the UCI for it’s handling of Chris Froome’s TUE procedure (therapeutic use exemption) regarding his use of corticosteroid prednisolone to treat a chest infection during last month’s Tour de Romandie, for which he won by 28 seconds over Simon Spilak.
In said article, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) came out swinging, suggesting that the UCI lacked proper "committee" to oversee it’s procedures.
Under WADA rules, teams normally have to apply for a TUE 21 days in advance. However, if the UCI deems a situation acute, it can relax it’s procedure and allow treatment. Still, according to WADA’s requirements, an expert committee of at least three individuals are required to make that determination.
However, the report revealed that in the case of Froome, the UCI failed to follow proper procedure, and instead relied solely upon the decision of one of it’s medical advisors – Dr. Mario Zorzoli.
“The UCI does not have the committee of experts as has long been required by the World Anti-Doping Agency rules,” the newspaper reported. “It’s the sole responsibility of Zorzoli to grant these authorizations that — as in Chris Froome’s case — can aid performances.”
Furthermore, WADA Director General David Howman added his concern about the UCI’s TUE process by saying:
“We’re concerned about the UCI’s TUE process". "They need to quickly fix the shortcomings identified in this case.”
UCI president Brian Cookson responded to WADA’s criticisms today with the following statements:
“So: nobody cheated, nobody lied, nobody got exceptional treatment. Procedures in place were followed".
“A completely revised set of rules is in preparation and will enter into force on January 1, 2015 in conjunction with the revised 2015 WADA code and international standards, including the international standard for therapeutic use exemptions (ISTUE),” the UCI said.
“As an immediate measure, the UCI confirms that from now on, all TUE decisions will pass through the TUE committee.
Chris Froome and Team Sky have dismissed any favoritism in this case.
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