It’s like doping Ground Hog day for Tour de France and ASO head man Christian Prudhoome.
Seven years ago it was Spaniard Alberto Contador and clenbuterol wrecking his world. Now it’s Team Sky’s Chris Froome and his twice-the-limit adverse analytical finding for the asthma medication salbutamol.
Here’s what Prudhoome had to say back in 2011. Which sounds a lot like what he’s already saying now and the sad, repetitive, resigned sound bites you’ll hear from him in 2018, all the way through the Tour de France.
“One can only regret the time lag between the sports and media, and that of justice.”
“What concerns us is that there should be a line drawn under this affair and a definitive decision taken.”
“CAS is sport’s highest jurisdiction. We do not want a response but THE response – we have waited too long.”
“It’s hard to understand that a year later, we still don’t have an answer,”
“We have said repeatedly that it wanted a settlement before the 2011 edition. It was only common sense but it was probably asking too much.”
“Even if sports justice must be serene and even if this case was extraordinarily complex, it is necessary that decisions in this sort of case should be made more rapidly.”
“I maintain that a verdict was given, but far too late. In the world of sport, it’s necessary to find much quicker and more efficient ways so as not to envelope our events in latent suspicion.
“Finally the verdict has arrived after 565 days of waiting. This has been too long. In future, the lapse of time between the sporting justice and the media diffusion has to be shorter – this will be absolutely essential.”
“[The decision] is obviously very late, too late. It is absolutely necessary that, even though sports justice like any type of justice needs serenity and even though the case was extremely complex, the outcome of that type of case come sooner.”
That was Contador’s clenbuterol debacle in 2011. Now, here’s the Froome version, now launching for 2018.
“We want the situation to be cleared up, to get out of the darkness and ambiguity,” Prudhoome told France Info TV on Friday. “We obviously want an investigation to be conducted, and we don’t want it to last for months and months, so we can have an answer from the UCI as soon as possible next season.”
That was Christian Prudhoome’s opening statement on what we’ll call in French “L’affaire Froome.” Expect plenty of repetition as we all plunge through the months and months of legal maneuvers, court date delays, claims and counter claims and media firestorms.
Welcome to the 2018 season of pro cycling. Feels a lot like a return to 2011. For Christian Prudhoome, it’s a miserable deja vu all over again.