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by Shane Stokes
May 29, 2014
The UCI has said that it is moving to address the issue of anti-doping testing at some high altitude locations, with the governing body responding to comments on the matter on Wednesday by Chris Froome.
Froome, who won the 2013 Tour de France and who has been training at Mount Teide in Tenerife, called for more testing at such locations yesterday as his own camp came to an end. “Three major TDF contenders staying on Mt Teide and no out of competition tests for the past 2 weeks. Very disappointing,” he wrote on Twitter.
Froome and Team Sky have long used the location for high altitude training, but other teams are increasingly also spending time at the extinct volcano. They are hoping to achieve similar levels of performance in this year’s Tour.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) plus some of their team-mates have also been using the same location and appear to be the other riders Froome was referring to.
The Briton qualified his tweet by saying he wasn’t casting aspersions on other riders. “To clarify I am one of those 3 and I think it’s in all our best interests to be able to prove we are clean no matter where we train,” he wrote.”
Contacted by Cycling Tips over the matter, the UCI said Thursday that it is moving to address the matter. “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,” it stated.
“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.”
There have been repeated suggestions in the past that the amount of testing done on Tenerife has been limited. Other locations have also been highlighted as lacking testing, including a claimed lack of out of competition examinations for foreign athletes training in countries such as South Africa.