The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has told Team Sky to send their evidence to other organizations after the British team offered to provide them with details on Chris Froome’s impressive Tour de France performances. Sky chief Dave Brailsford wrote to WADA offering to share their rider data with the organization to demonstrate that Tour de France leader Froome is clean. Sky have already shown their data to French newspaper L’Equipe, which could find no abnormalities in Froome’s performances. But WADA told AFP that it was not the right organization with which to share such data.
“We encourage all those involved in sport to share relevant intelligence with those whose aim it is to promote fair and clean sport. We would always be receptive to information that will aid the fight against doping in sport,” said WADA media manager Ben Nichols in an emailed response to AFP questions. “It is not specifically in WADA’s mandate to accept specific team or individual requests, however, and we undertake at-event observation programs only if invited to do so by an International Federation. UCI is the organisation responsible for the sharing of relevant information with Team Sky. UKAD, as the (UK’s) national anti-doping agency, would also be well placed to discuss further with Team Sky.”
Sky have also written to UKAD to offer them the information as they try to find ways to rebuke persistent rumours that Froome’s performances are too good to be done without the aid of doping.
“We have been in contact with WADA and UKAD and things are progressing,” Brailsford said before the start of Thursday’s 18th stage. “I don’t know what the process is because we have never done this before but we are trying to react to a situation, trying to think creatively about a situation. Nobody asked me to do this. I suggested it would be a good idea to contact them, they didn’t contact me. I have gone to them and said: ‘Actually guys, we would like to give you everything that we’ve got. How do you feel about that?'”
Froome is more than five minutes clear of his rivals having won three stages on this year’s Tour, triumphing in mountaintop finishes at Ax-Trois-Domaines and Mont Ventoux, as well as Wednesday’s hilly time-trial at Chorges. Despite his dominance, though, he has twice lost time to some of his main rivals. On the 13th stage from Tours to Saint-Armand-Montrond, crosswinds caused a split in the peloton that saw Froome lose 69 seconds to Alberto Contador and Bauke Mollema. And in Thursday’s climb up Alpe d’Huez, Froome lost about a minute to Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana after struggling with his sugar levels in the final 5km. Otherwise he has been in imperious form throughout the Tour.