Tony Martin walks back claim that Chris Froome is getting special treatment

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has walked back comments that Chris Froome received special treatment from the UCI surrounding his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol.

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Martin said he has received "a lot of feedback" to his original post from last week that said the treatment Froome was getting from the UCI was scandalous and created a double standard. Martin said Froome should not have been allowed to compete in the World Championships after an anti-doping test taken September 7 during the Vuelta a España revealed Froome had twice the legal limit of the asthma drug in his system. Froome has not been suspended and will have an opportunity to explain why his salbutamol level was so high.

In his most recent statement, also posted on Facebook, Martin said he now understands that "the UCI is managing this case in accordance with the rules and that Chris Froome did not get any special treatment. According to the rules, in a case involving a specified substance, every athlete shall have the chance to explain whether the numbers can be due to natural causes."

Because there are legitimate medical reasons why Froome uses the drug, which is not on the WADA banned list, the Team Sky leader will be afforded the opportunity to explain why his levels reached 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), or twice WADA's threshold of 1,000 ng/ml.

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While backing off his initial claims of a double standard in the Froome case, Martin said he is "always very angry when another case in relation to antidoping happened in our sport. I will, as I always did, continue to take a strong position regarding the fight against doping, and I will always remain an outspoken advocate for a 100% clean sport."

Froome, who won the Vuelta for the first time in September, has denied any wrongdoing or any violation of the anti-doping rules in regard to his adverse analytical finding. The four-time Tour de France winner says he has suffered with asthma since childhood and was allowed to take salbutamol during the Vuelta.

Froome has claimed he followed the advice of his doctor to increase the use of an inhaler when his symptoms worsened.

"My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor's advice to increase my salbutamol dosage," Froome said in a team statement released previously. "As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.

"I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results, and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires."

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