Team Sky's Tour de France leader Chris Froome says he takes full responsibility for missing an anti-doping test earlier this year
- Froome says that he was tested four times while training on Tenerife

Sky’s Chris Froome missed an anti-doping control earlier this year and said on Wednesday, with just over a week until the Tour de France starts, that he takes full responsibility.

Froome was on holiday with his wife in Italy when inspectors visited the hotel at seven o’clock. As per policy, Froome said the hotel’s staff refused to telephone and disturb its clients.

The missed test would only be a problem if Froome had three in a 12-month period. Such a case would result in an anti-doping ban, which was the case for Danish cyclist Alex Rasmussen.

“I missed a drugs test earlier this year,” Froome responded when asked. “I had a couple of recovery days, I took my wife to a hotel down in Italy. When we came down for breakfast, [the staff] 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 hugely frustrating. I did appeal it to the authorities, but at the end of day, I do take responsibility for that case. I could’ve been more proactive in letting the hotel know that it was a possibility I could best tested. I learned my lesson there.”

Froome did not specify the date when asked or explain if he missed other controls. Such information is private and would only be made public if an athlete was banned.

Chris Froome poses before the 2014 Tour de France

Chris Froome at a press conference before the 2014 Tour de France

British runner Mo Farah, it was recently revealed, missed two anti-doping controls in the lead-up to winning two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

Mark Cavendish said in 2012 that he missed a test in April 2011 while on Mount Etna in Italy.

Froome, besides taking responsibility, said that he sees himself as a spokesperson for cycling. He explained that is why he complained about the lack of anti-doping tests on the tiny Spanish island of Tenerife last year ahead of the Tour de France.

“We’d come back and be asked if we were tested, every year the answer was ‘no.’ Something wasn’t right,” Froome said.

“Many people use Tenerife as a key preparation ahead of the Tour de France and there was no testing. It was important to point it out to the authorities that this seemed to be a bit of an oversight that none of us were being tested.

“As far I’ve seen it’s been rectified. This year, I was tested at least four times during the period we were up there.”

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After winning the Critérium du Dauphiné, Froome has previewed some of the Tour’s key mountain stages. He has also been eyeing his rivals, including 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

“Alberto has come in just winning the Giro, he set himself the big challenge winning the double. Vincenzo is coming in as defending champion. He’s taking a very similar approach to how he did it last year, where he’s not showing his cards at this stage.

“Then you have Nairo who’s come back from a big block in Colombia, he’s never won the Tour de France, a Colombian has never won the Tour de France, that’s a huge motivation for him.

“I respect all my rivals, but I don’t fear anyone at this point.”

  • Bob

    The top riders have to be Squeaky and available at all times – I don’t believe CF is a doper for one minute (but I thought/hoped that about Lance once) but although the regular inconvenience of testing must be a real PIA he has to pay for the sins of those that came before in order to change public perception moving forward – we can do without the innuendo

  • Vespertine

    They are laughing at us…

  • Mike Prytherch

    Ummm…. that’s rather interesting then, they must of called him also, because in his position I would of also stated that “they didn’t even call me”, that would sure up his story even further,

  • Vespertine

    Yes they have to have the mobile numbers, google it. It doesn’t look so innocent now does it. Google this “out of competition testing mobilephone numbers” and look at number 7 from the UCI document, should be first result.

  • Vespertine

    Yeah Ben Johnson won in Seoul in ’88, that was incredible. Lance won 7 Tours, incredible. You are right, someone has to win.

  • Mike Prytherch

    Don’t the testers have the riders mobile numbers or a way of contacting them ? if not they should, any missed test is bad for the reputation wether intentional or not, its always going to bring bad press.

  • maprun

    Hardly brushed under the carpet, he volunteered the information and encouraged testing in Tenerife. Strikes me as a guy who is not trying to fly under the radar, rather one whose attitide is, bring it on! As for incredible performances, someone has to win. I’d be more worried by the riders that do just enough, rarely winning stages, rolling in a few seconds down. LA?

  • Phil Hall

    This is a storm in a “tazzina”. Froome will only be “tainted” by those who, for whatever reason, choose dislike him.

    The words “SKY” and the “high moral ground” should never, ever, under any circumstances, be used in the same sentence.

  • James Rider

    He’s missed “2 tests?” Have you got that right? And no, this won’t “taint him forever”, many athletes miss doping tests and we hear nothing of them, though Froome haters will be keen to bring this up next time he does well in a race!

  • Vespertine

    He will “now” be tainted forever? So he wasn’t tainted when he lit up at AX3 then on Ventoux? As for Mo, same deal; in my book incredible performances are indeed not credible.I consider them stronger evidence than this.

  • Kevino Daviessss

    DISGRACEFUL- , he will now be tainted forever, this great sport doesn’t help itself, SKY have held the high moral ground for years yet he’s allowed to miss two tests and swept under the carpet. Until sport bans everyone who misses one test it will stay in the gutter.
    Mo Farah has been slated for past two weeks, now watch how papers react to ex TDF winner missing historical tests in the run up to the great race.
    Cycle sport doesn’t help itself!!