• Tony Martin in action at the 2017 German national championships. (AAP)Source: AAP
Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), has walked back his earlier comments criticising the UCI over Chris Froome’s (Team Sky) adverse drugs test at the Vuelta a España.
By
Cycling Central

18 Dec 2017 - 10:05 AM  UPDATED 18 Dec 2017 - 10:59 AM

Froome had twice the permissible amount of asthma medication Salbutamol in his system on 7 September which was revealed in an anti-doping test taken after Stage 18 of the Vuelta.

Multiple world time trial champion Martin alleged a “double standard” in cycling, one which favours riders like four-time Tour de France champion Froome.

“There is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case,” Martin wrote on his Facebook page. “Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test.

“He 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.”

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However, Martin later recalibrated his earlier comments after taking a call from an International Cycling Union (UCI) representative explaining the complexities and processes of the Froome case.

“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, he wrote on Facebook.

“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.

“That said, I am always very angry when another case in relation to anti-doping 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 per cent clean sport.”

Froome faces a possible loss of his Vuelta victory and a suspension if he fails to convince the UCI the high levels of Salbutamol were an anomaly or accidental.