Madiot praises ASO for barring Chris Froome from the Tour de France

FDJ boss calls the situation 'tedious'

Groupama-FDJ boss Marc Madiot has praised Tour de France organisers ASO after the French race organiser put in place steps to stop Chris Froome (Team Sky) from defending his race title.

According to reports in Le Monde, ASO sent an email to Team Sky in which they stated that Froome would not be welcome or accepted at the Tour, which starts in a week. Froome recently stated that he has every right to race, and according to the UCI's own rules the British rider can carry on competing even while his 2017 Vuelta a Espana salbutamol case drags on.

However, ASO also have the right to withhold participation in their own events. ASO has cited article 29 of its rules, which "expressly reserves the right to refuse participation in - or to exclude from - the event, a team or any of its members whose presence would be such as to damage the image or reputation of ASO or the event."

Team Sky and Froome are set to lodge an appeal later this week in the hope of ASO's ruling being overturned.

Madiot, who has been critical of Team Sky in the past, said that Froome not competing at the Tour would bring a calmness to the current climate. In recent weeks, French cycling legend Bernard Hinault has called on riders to strike of Froome is allowed to start. Madiot stopped well short of that when asked for his reaction to the news relating to ASO in Le Monde, but gave a strong impression that the race organiser had taken the correct measures.

"If he [Froome] is there, he's there. If he's not there, he's not there. It would be better him not to be there for the general quietness of the Tour, but if he's there, he's there. I don't have to decide on this. Once again, there is a justice system, it's up to them to decide. I will try to remain logical and not say more. I pay tribute to what ASO is doing," Madiot told Cyclismactu.

Madiot's disappointment surrounding the situation came from the UCI's slowness in resolving the situation. Froome returned the AAF last September after a routine test at the end of stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana. Almost ten months have passed since then.

"My regret comes from the UCI. Situations like this one have already occurred ten or fifteen years ago, and the UCI and WADA haven't made the regulations evolve. We have governing bodies who haven't resolved potential issues that get repeated today. It's a bit tedious. There's a new UCI president and I hope he'll be able to reform our sport. Many reforms are necessary. He's in place since last year, it's up to him to take action quickly and strongly for the good of cycling."

"Had it concerned a low-key rider, the case would have been resolved a long time ago. It could have been solved by Froome himself, he only had to say: 'listen, I made a mistake in the dosage, I take cognizance of it, I make a public apology and I accept a penalty.' At the limit, the penalty could have been… I won't say negotiated, but adjusted, had Froome and his team been in good faith. On the other hand, they've taken the case purely on legal basis."

Madiot reiterated calls for Team Sky to have joined the MPCC. The British team have turned down a number of invitations to do so over the years.

"Everyone will have an opinion on the situation. There was maybe a possibility to deal better with this case. Everyone does what he wants. There was another possibility for Team Sky: they could have adhered to the MPCC and we would have supported their action to not enter their rider in any race. They would have made themselves taller. They have chosen another option. They were free to do so. You're welcome to ask them why they aren't part of the MPCC."

 

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