Groupama-FDJ boss Marc Madiot has praised Tour de France organisers ASO after the French race organiser put in place steps to stop Chris Froome (Team Sky) from defending his race title.
According to reports in Le Monde, ASO sent an email to Team Sky in which they stated that Froome would not be welcome or accepted at the Tour, which starts in a week. Froome recently stated that he has every right to race, and according to the UCI’s own rules the British rider can carry on competing even while his 2017 Vuelta a Espana salbutamol case drags on.
However, ASO also have the right to withhold participation in their own events. ASO has cited article 28 of its rules, which “expressly reserves the right to refuse participation in – or to exclude from – the event, a team or any of its members whose presence would be such as to damage the image or reputation of ASO or the event.”
Team Sky and Froome are set to lodge an appeal later this week in the hope of ASO’s ruling being overturned.
Madiot, who has been critical of Team Sky in the past, said that Froome not competing at the Tour would bring a calmness to the current climate. In recent weeks, French cycling legend Bernard Hinault has called on riders to strike of Froome is allowed to start. Madiot stopped well short of that when asked for his reaction to the news relating to ASO in Le Monde, but gave a strong impression that the race organiser had taken the correct measures.
“If he [Froome] is there, he’s there. If he’s not there, he’s not there. It would be better him not to be there for the general quietness of the Tour, but if he’s there, he’s there. I don’t have to decide on this. Once again, there is a justice system, it’s up to them to decide. I will try to remain logical and not say more. I pay tribute to what ASO is doing,” Madiot told Cyclismactu.
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