World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, is looking into claims by Tour de France champion Chris Froome that neither he nor two of his chief rivals for this year’s race have been tested for drugs while training on Tenerife.
Froome has been on the island for two weeks with Team Sky for a high-altitude training camp at Mount Tiede in preparation for the 101st edition of the Tour, and Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador and Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali have also been training there.
On Wednesday, Froome said on Twitter: "Three major TDF contenders staying on Mount Teide and no out of competition tests for the past two weeks."
Later, he added: "To clarify, I am one of those three and I think it's in all our best interests to be able to prove we are clean no matter where we train."
Yesterday, a UCI spokesman told BBC Sport: "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.
"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."
As happened to Sir Bradley Wiggins when he won the Tour de France in 2012, on his way to winning the race last year Froome had to regularly answer questions about doping.
He expanded on his tweets in an interview with CyclingNews.com, confirming that Contador and Nibali were the other two riders to whom he was referring.
Froome said: "I've asked around with other teams just out of interest, because we've been up here before and not been tested.
"So, I just wanted to see if it was the same case for everyone, but none of them, from what I could gather, had been tested either.
"Alberto, Vincenzo, we're all up here with our respective teams and at the end of the day we're the ones that have to stand in front of the television cameras in July and justify performances.
“All three of us are GC contenders and the probability is that whoever is in the yellow jersey in July is going to have to answer questions and if we're not getting tested that doesn't look good on any of us."
Referring to his visits to Tenerife, he added: "I've been tested once and I've been up here maybe four or five times."
Froome is now in the UK to carry out a reconnaissance of the opening two stages of this year’s Tour de France in Yorkshire.
Team Sky today cut down a media session with Froome, due to be held Saturday morning in Harrogate, limiting it to just interviews he is obliged to do.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.