Report: UCI fast-tracked Froome TUE request at Tour de Romandie

The UCI gave Chris Froome a therapeutic use exemption for the corticosteroid prednisolone at this year’s Tour de Romandie without following the correct protocol, Le Journal du Dimanche has reported.

According to the French newspaper, UCI scientific advisor Dr. Mario Zorzoli signed off on a request from Team Sky for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) without submitting Froome’s medical dossier to a TUE committee, which is required under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.

The WADA code states that applications for a TUE must be reviewed by a committee that “should include at least three (3) physicians with experience in the care and treatment of athletes and a sound knowledge of clinical, sports and exercise medicine.” Furthermore, the code notes that “the majority of the members of any TUEC should be free of conflicts of interest or political responsibility in the Anti-Doping Organization.”

Froome had missed Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to a chest infection and initially consulted with his personal doctor in Monaco, Dr. Bermon, who did not prescribe any oral corticosteroids to treat the ailment.

Ahead of the Tour de Romandie, Le Journal du Dimanche reports, Sky team doctor Alan Farrell requested a TUE that would allow Froome to take 40mg per day of the oral corticosteroid prednisolone throughout the race. This request was reportedly granted and Froome proceeded to win the Tour de Romandie for the second successive year.

Corticosteroids taken orally or by intravenous or intramuscular injection are forbidden during competition without a TUE.

Le Journal du Dimanche also reports that WADA has since received Froome’s dossier and is investigating the incident. The UCI did not respond to Cyclingnews' request for comment on Sunday morning. Froome is currently competing at the Critérium du Dauphiné.



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