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Chris Froome: I missed a drugs test
25 Jun 2015 07:07
Chris Froome has admitted missing a drugs test, but accepted he was culpable and stressed it was always the athlete's responsibility to ensure sport is drugs free.
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Froome was subjected to innuendo and scrutiny while winning the 2013 Tour de France, but insisted when standing on the Paris podium his yellow jersey would stand the test of time.
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The 30-year-old, who is preparing to lead Team Sky into this year's Tour, which begins on 4 July in Utrecht, Holland, was tested "over 30 times in three weeks" as he secured the maillot jaune in the arguably the toughest endurance event in sport.
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His missed test came earlier this year during a short break in Italy with wife Michelle, when staff at the luxury hotel where they were staying refused to allow anti-doping testers to disturb the couple.
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Froome appealed, but the blot remains on his record.
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Athletes must provide anti-doping officials with their whereabouts for one hour every day of the year and are sanctioned if they have three missed tests in a 12-month period.
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Froome's candid admission comes after it emerged double Olympic champion Mo Farah missed two drugs tests prior to London 2012.
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The reports came soon after a BBC TV documentary alleged that Farah's coach Alberto Salazar had practised doping techniques with American athlete Galen Rupp
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Farah has not been accused of doing anything wrong, while Salazar denies the allegations.
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Froome, speaking by conference call from his base in Monaco, said: "Earlier this year I had a couple of recovery days and I took my wife down to quite an exclusive hotel in Italy.
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"The first morning we were down there the authorities showed up at seven o'clock in the morning and the hotel wouldn't give them access to our room. They also refused to let them call up to the room.
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"When we came down for breakfast they said to us, 'Oh, anti-doping guys were here to test you this morning, but it's our policy not to let anyone disturb our clients'.
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"That was a hugely frustrating situation for me. I did appeal it and try and explain the circumstances to the authorities, but at the end of the day I do take responsibility for that case.
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"I should've been more proactive in letting the hotel know that this is a possibility that I could be tested. I've certainly learnt my lesson there.
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"I've stayed in hotels all over the world and I've been tested in hotels all over the world without any issues at all.
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"Unfortunately I just didn't see this one coming. But it's opened my eyes and I'm definitely going to be more proactive in the future.
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"It's always the athlete's responsibility to make sure he or she is available for testing."
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