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UCI should embed anti-doping experts within teams, says Brailsford

Team Sky boss says move would help prove riders aren't cheating...

Sir Dave Brailsford says the UCI should pay for independent anti-doping experts to be embedded within leading teams to help prove that riders aren’t cheating.

The Team Sky principal’s comments, reported by BBC Sport, follow a weekend in which Tour de France race leader Chris Froome had urine thrown at him by a spectator who shouted out, “doper!”

Froome has had to field questions about whether he is riding clean throughout this year’s race, just as he did two years ago when he claimed the overall victory.

Speaking on the France Télévisions show Stade 2, Brailsford, who last week claimed Froome’s training data had been hacked by people trying prove he is doping, said: "It is not possible to prove a negative. I can't. But I can work with the UCI, independent experts."

He continued: "I understand people asking 'do we believe in Chris Froome?'

"How can we find a test where we say 'we are clean'? We have responsibility to be transparent.

"I would like the UCI to invest in individuals and put them into each team 24/7. That would prove we do nothing. I'm ready to do it.

"It is not fair what has been said. Chris is special. He has a special physiology. But he doesn't cheat."

Whether Brailsford’s suggestion is workable is open to question.

With 17 UCI WorldTour teams alone, it would certainly be expensive, perhaps prohibitively so for the UCI – if there were enough suitably qualified people to staff such an operation in the first place.

Moreover, with teams sometimes participating in three races concurrently and other riders elsewhere, for example on training camps, it would be impossible to keep tabs on everyone all the time.

Froome himself has pointed the finger at French ex-pros turned TV pundits Cedric Vasseur and Lauren Jalabert as helping fuel suspicions about him.

The latter’s insinuations were summarised by ITV 4 yesterday – although Jalabert wasn’t too keen to elaborate on them when pressed by Matt Rendell, as shown in this video posted to YouTube by a user named Michelle F.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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