Actualité du dopage
Team Sky are consulting their lawyers following what they believe to be the potential hacking of Chris Froome's training data files in order to suggest he may be using performance enhancing drugs.
The British team revealed the suspected theft on Monday as they prepared to face the inevitable doping questions which are sure to accompany any big performances from Froome in the Tour de France's mountain stages in the Pyrenees and the Alps in the next fortnight.
Sky are thought to have around 30 vehicles in total, which has upset rival teams who claim they clog up hotel car parks. A photographer was seen snooping around in the bushes outside Sir Dave Brailsford's motorhome on Sunday night.
But it is espionage of a more serious nature which has really set the alarm bells ringing at Team Sky, with the suspected hacking of Froome's training files. Brailsford made the revelation after being asked whether he expected Froome to face doping questions if he performed well in the mountains.
"It's part of the game, isn't it?" he said. "If he does well tomorrow [in the first Pyrenean stage], the rest of the Tour it's ‘How do you know he's not doping?' We've thought about [what we can do to convince the doubters] but again we'll be back to [discussing] pace of climbs, physiology, power data etc. Well, actually we have done something about it ... we think someone has hacked into our training data and got Chris's files, so we've got some legal guys on the case there."
Before this Tour, Froome criticised the "clowns" on social media who tried to interpret power data, saying it was meaningless without context. "From what I've seen from some of the clowns interpreting [power] data and saying, ‘You did this for 10 minutes so you have to be doping', it's so unhelpful in every sense of the word," he said.
"It can't paint the full picture. If the UCI [cycling's world governing body] want to collect power data and a way of explaining what's humanly possible or not without doping, then I would be very happy. But to release it into the world for people to rip apart and say, ‘On this 15-minute section he was too fast' ... you don't get wind speed, temperature, how hard you've ridden, all those variable factors."
Brailsford also said that data without context could be twisted to suit particular agendas, "particularly when you have things like oval rings [which Froome uses] involved, which can skew the data."