Chris Froome backs 24-hour drug testing amid Nicole Cooke criticism

Chris Froome
Froome won the Tour de France in 2013, but crashed out of the race last year

Chris Froome says he would "welcome" 24-hour drug testing in cycling.

The British rider's comments follow a damning report into doping and criticism from former Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke.

Froome, who has never failed a drugs test, tweeted: "If it can help clean up the sport I love, let's do it."

But Cooke believes he should not have been granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to race in and win the 2014 Tour de Romandie.

She also criticises Brian Cookson, the new boss of the International Cycling Union, for failing to get to grips with the abuse of TUES, which legally permit riders to use banned substances for medical conditions.

Team Sky's Froome, who won the 2013 Tour de France, was granted a TUE for a steroid because he was suffering from a chest infection.

"I don't think it is at all right that Chris should have the race and prize money taken off him retrospectively, but Cookson needs to issue a very clear message: he should be apologising to the rest of the riders for failing them," Cooke wrote in The Guardian.

The 31-year-old Welsh cyclist added: "That TUE application should not have been approved; Froome and Sky should have had a clear choice of either riding without steroids or pulling out."

Cooke said Cookson, a founding board member of Team Sky, had left himself open to accusations of favouritism, although she praised him for commissioning the report in the first place.

Responding to Cooke's accusations, Cookson said: "I made it a firm pledge that I would separate myself from all anti-doping processes, specifically to avoid any potential conflict of interest."

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