Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) has followed up its piece on last Sunday’s Affaire Froome with allegations that the UCI doesn’t have the proper process in place to issue Therapeutc Use Exemptions (TUE). The JDD quotes WADA boss David Howman as being “concerned” by this and how he’s “asked the UCI to rapidly fix the insufficiencies seen in this case“.
This is going to be a quick read because it’s a simple matter of whether the UCI or the JDD is telling the truth.
What the JDD says:
The JDD’s piece today says (my translation):
As… the JDD can reveal this Sunday, the UCI does not have the committee of international experts who are supposed to issue the TUEs (the TUEC), which nevertheless have long been requirements of the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency! It’s solely down Dr Mario Zorzoli, the co-ordinator of the UCI’s medical committee, to grant these authorisations which can – as with Chris Froome – be a performance aid. WADA has therefore asked the UCI to fix this breakdown. We understand a TUEC will be formed this week, in time for the Tour de France.
In short the JDD says the UCI doesn’t have the committee specified in WADA’s guidelines.
What WADA says:
What guidelines? Here’s the bit from the WADA Guidelines say (my emphasis):
2.1.1 The ADO must set up a network of physicians responsible for evaluating TUE applications. TUE Committees (TUECs) should include at least three physicians with experience in the care and treatment of athletes and a sound knowledge of clinical, sports and exercise medicine (see Article 6.1 of the International Standard for TUEs). The TUEC will be chaired by one of the member physicians.
Note an ADO is an “anti-doping organisation” and includes all bodies charged with upholding the WADA Code, including international federations like the UCI.
What the UCI says:
Which brings us to the UCI. It told us this time last week it did comply with the WADA Code and Guidelines. Twice. (my emphasis):
Christopher Froome’s TUE for oral use of glucocorticosteroids was granted on April 29, 2014 based on duly documented medical history and in compliance with the applicable UCI Regulations and the relevant WADA guidelines. The TUE was granted for a limited period, following the usual procedure…
…The UCI wishes to emphasise that under the applicable rules – which are consistent with the WADA Code and the WADA TUE Standard and Guidelines – any rider with the same symptoms as Christopher Froome would have received a similar TUE.
WADA says the UCI must have a formal committee of experts to review the granting of Therapeutic Use Exemptions. The UCI says it complies with the WADA Guidelines, suggesting the committee’s in place. But Le Journal du Dimanche says the UCI does not have a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee and instead Dr Zorzoli has been acting alone, against WADA Guideline 2.1.1. Who is telling the truth, the UCI or the Journal du Dimanche?