Cycling chiefs: We didn’t bend rules for Froome

CYCLING’S governing body the UCI has refuted suggestions that it bent anti-doping rules to favour Chris Froome ahead of the Tour de Romandie, which the Briton won last month.

Froome finished 12th overall at the Criterium du Dauphine yesterday, four minutes 25 seconds behind winner Andrew Talansky from America, though had led the week-long race until the penultimate stage and finished with the green points jersey.

His latest disappointment follows accusations that the Team Sky rider was granted use of a steroid to treat the after effects of a chest infection without the UCI following correct procedure when issuing a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

But the UCI said: “The TUE was granted for a limited period, following the usual procedure. The UCI wishes to emphasise that under the applicable rules any rider with the same symptoms as Christopher Froome would have receieved a similar TUE.”

Froome is set to begin the defence of his Tour de France crown next month, with the first stage of 21 from Leeds to Harrogate on 5 July, one of three stages to be held in England.