Is there an inappropriate relationship between Sky and the UCI?

by daddyELVIS   June 15, 2014  

With revelations about a corticosteroid TUE being issued for Chris Froome without following correct procedure, are we starting to see signs of an inappropriate relationship between Sky and the UCI?

15 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Well whatever the real answer, I'm pretty sure this thread will degrade in the usual way when Sky are mentioned.

Silly

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
15th June 2014 - 12:52

like this
Like (4)
Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8668 posts]
15th June 2014 - 15:48

like this
Like (1)

But if he needed oral steroids should have been even riding that race (never mind winning it, and beating Martin in the ITT). I'm sure there's a passage in Walsh's book on Sky where they talk about withdrawing riders from races instead of issuing TUE's for respiratory problems - I think it's a section where they are justifying the employment of Leinders.

posted by daddyELVIS [371 posts]
15th June 2014 - 16:26

like this
Like (2)

daddyELVIS wrote:
But if he needed oral steroids should have been even riding that race (never mind winning it, and beating Martin in the ITT).

If I understand it correctly, under UCI rules the use of corticosteriods for riders with a condition that requires it may be considered by a group of 'experts' for approval.

Now if only there was something available to counter-act the dullness of the man, i'm sure even the UCI may just allow its unlimited use without any TUE and we'd all turn a blind eye...

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [296 posts]
15th June 2014 - 17:30

like this
Like (2)

fukawitribe wrote:

If I understand it correctly, under UCI rules the use of corticosteriods for riders with a condition that requires it may be considered by a group of 'experts' for approval.

The article states that it is this process (the group of experts) that was bypassed, although the UCI have since claimed all is in order. I think there is a rule whereby the process can be bypassed for acute asthma / respiratory problems - but surely if this was the case with Froome he would have been too ill to race, let alone win a 1 week stage race and beat Tony Martin in an ITT.

Treatment with steroids is always a serious decision for any doctor and for a patient to be prescribed a course would mean they were in a very poor state of health (eg inflammation on the lungs). Surely, a team that lets a rider race in such a poor state of health is not doing the right thing for the long-term health of their rider. Unless, of course he wasn't that ill - in which case why did he need this medication?

I'm afraid this is another blow to Sky's claims of being an ethical team! Are we starting to see what 'marginal gains' are really about?

posted by daddyELVIS [371 posts]
15th June 2014 - 18:03

like this
Like (2)

After extensive consultation with my legal team (a five minute telephone call with my mate who has a A-Level in Law), I can confirm that the answer is...

Nope. Nope. Nope. No way. Welcome to nopesville. Kthxbai.

posted by Argos74 [261 posts]
15th June 2014 - 20:18

like this
Like (2)

daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

If I understand it correctly, under UCI rules the use of corticosteriods for riders with a condition that requires it may be considered by a group of 'experts' for approval.

The article states that it is this process (the group of experts) that was bypassed, although the UCI have since claimed all is in order.

It was passed by their senior medical director - so that may qualify as expert advice (or not) but is certainly in the singular. Without seeing the rules it would be difficult to judge. Anyone have a link to them ? The UCI may not seem to be helping matters much, given they must know the attention this draw, by not being quite explicit in the reasons for the decision.

daddyELVIS wrote:
I think there is a rule whereby the process can be bypassed for acute asthma / respiratory problems - but surely if this was the case with Froome he would have been too ill to race, let alone win a 1 week stage race and beat Tony Martin in an ITT.

Treatment with steroids is always a serious decision for any doctor and for a patient to be prescribed a course would mean they were in a very poor state of health (eg inflammation on the lungs).

Which would make sense as prednisolone (i'm assuming that the drug in question, rather than the one reported) is used as an anti-inflammatory (preventatively and reactively) for a number of conditions including those associated with auto-immune diseases. That means, inter alia, it can be given when the immune reaction has not yet reached an extreme level.

daddyELVIS wrote:
Surely, a team that lets a rider race in such a poor state of health is not doing the right thing for the long-term health of their rider. Unless, of course he wasn't that ill - in which case why did he need this medication?

I don't think we know enough about the situation to make that judgement - do you ?

daddyELVIS wrote:
I'm afraid this is another blow to Sky's claims of being an ethical team! Are we starting to see what 'marginal gains' are really about?

Maybe, maybe not. If I was a betting man i'd not put much on that though.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [296 posts]
15th June 2014 - 21:27

like this
Like (1)

Ignoring the whole story about the TUE, I do think the UCI need to do more to show Brian will not be influenced by his son's presence at Sky. At the end of the day, Cookson is making decisions that will directly affect his son. his predecessor McQuaid had the same problem too, with several of his children involved in pro cycling.

Apparently McQuaid promised he'd "step out of the room", but without a public formal mechanism for this it's hard to take it seriously!

posted by giobox [234 posts]
16th June 2014 - 0:38

like this
Like (2)

Doesn't Cookson's son work for Sky? Just sayin'.

posted by redmeat [57 posts]
16th June 2014 - 13:06

like this
Like (1)

This was why Froome, in the Dauphine, trolled this forum by suddenly producing his asthma inhaler out of his pocket and all the time he was thinking 'this will have them turning themselves inside out on road.cc just trying to explain how I must be cheating and Sky are just a bunch of shysters'.... it all makes much more logical sense.... plus he's a lizard person who kills kittens and puppies just for a laugh.

posted by leqin [65 posts]
16th June 2014 - 13:39

like this
Like (4)

giobox wrote:
I do think the UCI need to do more to show Brian will not be influenced by his son's presence at Sky.

How are they supposed to do that though?

I haven't seen any evidence at all thus far that he has been influenced by his son's presence, and it's difficult to see what he/UCI could do to demonstrate such independence.

posted by dp24 [142 posts]
16th June 2014 - 13:46

like this
Like (1)

leqin wrote:
This was why Froome, in the Dauphine, trolled this forum by suddenly producing his asthma inhaler out of his pocket and all the time he was thinking 'this will have them turning themselves inside out on road.cc just trying to explain how I must be cheating and Sky are just a bunch of shysters'.... it all makes much more logical sense.... plus he's a lizard person who kills kittens and puppies just for a laugh.

At least one person here can cut through all the bull, and see things for what they really are!

Apparently the increased number of dog napping incidents and Froomes rise to the top of the cycling tree are directly correlated...

in all seriousness....

This could be a case of the cycling journalists/who ever knowing what is going on at Sky and like Contador and the meat sage, are looking to use anything to highlight the team for what it is.... or, its just a weak attempt to throw mud at a clean team.

My thoughts are that yes, I am sure if we looked under the bonnet, the machine at team Sky will be doing everything it can within the rules to win and that won't necessarily be that pretty. If that includes slightly dubious TUE's then so be it.

This isn't a retrospective TUE developed off the back of a positive test like Armstrong, its a TUE that's been issued, which like many other TUE's issued in a season may not have followed procedures to the letter.

Its a pretty desperate thing to be pinning a case on....

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [197 posts]
16th June 2014 - 15:41

like this
Like (2)

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
Apparently the increased number of dog napping incidents and Froomes rise to the top of the cycling tree are directly correlated...

I bet if you checked her wardrobe, Michelle Cound will have acquired a new coat at some point in the past 18 months.

I'm not suggesting that what you are saying is related to what I am saying in any way at all, but it is, definitely.

posted by farrell [1278 posts]
16th June 2014 - 15:47

like this
Like (3)

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
leqin wrote:
At least one person here can cut through all the bull, and see things for what they really are!

Apparently the increased number of dog napping incidents and Froomes rise to the top of the cycling tree are directly correlated...

doing my best Arthur Askey impression - I thank you - I thank you - just to prove that correlation isn't causation, because we need much more rigor here at road.cc, which is why tomorrow - just before setting out on my commute to work - I will eviscerate next doors cat and see if the doing so gets me to work quicker.

posted by leqin [65 posts]
16th June 2014 - 15:58

like this
Like (2)

Would be interesting to see how many other TUE's were issued with only a single approver the last few seaasons.
Could then make the call between are the media/armchair experts making a furore over this because it's one instance of this, or because it's Sky.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [258 posts]
16th June 2014 - 16:02

like this
Like (1)