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UCI clarifies rules in phone call to Tony Martin after comments on Froome positive test

UCI reaches out to German rider in order to clarify the rules regarding Chris Froome's adverse test results

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has revealed that the UCI has contacted him in order to explain its actions regarding the Chris Froome Salbutamol case.

Following his damning Facebook post last Wednesday, Martin stated in a more recent post that a spokesman from the UCI has subsequently called him and taken 'the time to explain how the case was treated'.

The four-time time trial World Champion then went on to confirm that the UCI did not offer Team Sky or Chris Froome any special treatment and has fully followed its own protocol.

As Froome returned an adverse analytical finding for a 'specified substance' - which WADA defines as substance 'more likely to have been consumed for a purpose other than performance enhancement' - the UCI clarified that he is not subject to a mandatory suspension.

Despite this explanation, Martin was sure to tell of his anger at any case that could harm the credibility of cycling.

He then finished the post by writing, 'As I have always done, I will continue to represent a strong position in the fight against doping and remain an open champion for 100 % clean sport.'

This correspondence between the German and the UCI came in response to the news that Chris Froome had returned an adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol.

Martin was quick to release a statement saying that he was 'totally angry' about what he saw as a double standard being applied.

Posted to the rider's Facebook profile in his native German and English, Martin did not hold back in his criticism of how the situation was being handled.

'I am totally angry. There is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case,' he wrote.

'Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test. He and his team are given time by the UCI to explain it all. I do not know of any similar case in the recent past.

'That is a scandal, and he should at least not have been allowed to appear in the World Championships,' Martin contested.

Froome finished third in the UCI World Championships Time-Trial on 20th September, 13 days after the sample was taken on Stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Without detailing what's caused him to think this way about the case, Martin went on to state that 'not only the public but also I have immediately the impression that there is wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes, agreements are being made and ways are being sought as to how to get out of this case.

'Do he and his team enjoy a special status?'

Any explanation or resulting sanction is yet to come to light or be enforced and will not be provided until the case has reached a conclusion.

With controversy already surrounding the use of TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions), in particular by Team Sky, Martin initially saw this as another step back for the transparency and credibility of professional cycling.

'These actions are a major blow to the difficult anti-doping fight, which I am leading with riders like Marcel Kittel. Our credibility and our great sport is at stake. We need a consistent and transparent approach by the UCI.

'What is going on here is inconsequent, not transparent, unprofessional and unfair.'

Any professional rider who speaks out in the name of clean sport is to be commended, but without a clear explanation of what has happened and with no judgement yet given by anti-doping authorities, riders, fans and we in the press need to tread carefully when reacting to such news as this.

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