Froome: TUE system open to abuse and authorities must act


Chris Froome has said the current system regarding therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) is "open to abuse" and called on the issue to be urgently addressed by authorities, amid the ongoing debate regarding Bradley Wiggins' legal use of a powerful corticosteroid.

Wiggins and Froome - former colleagues at Team Sky - each had private medical data leaked earlier this month after the 'Fancy Bears' cyber-espionage group hacked a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database.

While Froome was only revealed to have required a TUE on two occasions that he had already openly admitted prior to the hack, much attention has surrounded the disclosure that Wiggins was granted permission to take triamcinolone acetonide ahead of major races in three successive years from 2011.

There is no suggestion that Wiggins, Froome or any other athlete named in the leaks has broken any rules or committed any wrongdoing. In addition, both Wiggins and Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford have insisted the former did not gain an unfair advantage through his use of triamcinolone, which was prescribed to help with "allergies and respiratory problems".

Yet the controversy has prompted Tour de France champion Froome to call on WADA and the International Cycling Union (UCI) to take action regarding the use of TUEs.

In a statement posted on his official Twitter account, Froome wrote: "I take my position in the sport very seriously and I know that I have to not only abide by the rules, but also go above and beyond that to set a good example both morally and ethically.

"It is clear that the TUE system is open to abuse and I believe that this is something that the UCI and WADA needs to urgently address.

"At the same time there are athletes who not only abide by the rules that are in place, but also those of fair play.

"I have never had a 'win at all costs' approach in this regard. I am not looking to push the boundaries of the rules.

"I believe that this is something that athletes need to take responsibility for themselves, until more stringent protocols can be put in place."

Team Sky, Froome's current employers who Wiggins rode for when winning the 2012 Tour de France, had previously responded to the TUE leaks in a statement.

It read: "Applications made by Team Sky for TUEs have all been managed and recorded in line with the processes put in place by the governing bodies. Team Sky's approach to anti-doping - and our commitment to clean competition - is well known."