Tony Martin has revealed that he received a phone call from the UCI to “clarify how the process has been handled” after he accused cycling’s governing body of “double standards” in its handling of Chris Froome‘s salbutamol case.
Writing on Facebook on Wednesday, Martin said that he was “totally angry” at the “unprofessional and unfair” handling of the case, saying that he had the impression that there was “wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes.”
He continued: “Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test. He [Froome] and his team are given time by the UCI to explain it all. I do not know of any similar case in the recent past. That is a scandal, and he should at least not have been allowed to appear in the World Championships.”
In accordance with UCI anti-doping rules, Froome has not been provisionally suspended after double the permitted concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol was found in his urine after stage 18 of the Vuelta a España due to the fact that salbutamol is classified as a specified substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Instead, the case has now been referred to the Legal Anti-Doping Services, to which Froome and Team Sky will have to prove that the high concentration of salbutamol in Froome’s urine was not as a result of exceeding the maximum permitted dosage of 800 micrograms over 12 hours.
In a new post on Facebook, Martin said that he had received lots of “feedback” about his comments, including from a UCI representative, and was now convinced that the case was being dealt with in accordance with the rules.
“I received a lot of feedback about my comment of yesterday. I even got a phone call from a UCI’s representative who took the time to clarify how the process had been handled,” Martin wrote.
“I now understand 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.”
However the four-time time trial world champion said that he was still angry about hearing another anti-doping case in cycling, and would continue to be outspoken on the issue.
“I am always very angry when another case in relation to anti-doping happened in our sport.” Martin continued.
“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.”