Tour de France: Chris Froome says urine was thrown at him

Chris Froome
Chris Froome still leads the Tour De France with seven stages remaining

Britain's Tour de France leader Chris Froome says he had urine thrown at him during stage 14 of the race following accusations that he is doping.

Froome, who extended his overall lead to three minutes 10 seconds, said the attack happened early in the stage.

"Unfortunately, someone threw a cup of urine into my face and shouted 'doper', which is extremely wrong on so many different levels," he said.

Angry Geraint Thomas condemns Tour abuse

The 30-year-old has always insisted he is a clean rider.

Froome's claim comes a day after fellow Team Sky rider Richie Porte said he was punched during stage 10 of this year's race.

Team Sky also believe their computers have been hacked by critics convinced that Froome is using performance-enhancing drugs.

Analysis from BBC Sport's Matt Slater at the Tour
French newspapers, radio shows and TV programmes have openly questioned whether Froome is clean, usually citing his poor early record in Grand Tours as evidence and the US Postal-like control of the race that Team Sky has exerted - US Postal being Lance Armstrong's team.
The fact that some of this "debate" is being generated by former dopers-turned-Tour pundits, such as Laurent Jalabert and Michael Rasmussen, has not raised the eyebrows it should. Team Sky are furious about this, blaming this commentary for creating the increasingly poisonous atmosphere.

The Kenya-born rider, who won the 2013 Tour, said on Tuesday he is racing clean but understood questions because of the history of the sport.

Former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was stripped of seven titles after he admitted doping.

But after the attack on the 187.5km stage from Rodez to Mende, Froome said he blamed the media for "irresponsible reporting" rather than supporters.

Froome told ITV4: "A lot of the reporting on the race has been very irresponsible - the individuals know who they are.

"We have had some fantastic support, we've seen a great number of fans in the race and a lot of the media has been fantastic."

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas said he had been booed while racing and said he had never seen an atmosphere like the one at this year's Tour de France.

"They loved us last year when we were losing," the Welsh rider said.

The 29-year-old was also critical of former rider Michael Rasmussen, who held the yellow jersey in 2007 but admitted doping for 12 years and is now back on Tour as a journalist.

"Ex-dopers, people like Michael Rasmussen, they know no other way," Thomas said of the Dane. "They are cheats and always will be cheats and they can't see a good rider as a good rider. That's really frustrating. Guys like that, what is he even doing here? It's a shame that the media give him a voice."

GB Cycling's Shane Sutton on Froome treatment
"It's appalling. The team are focused and strong characters. This is just a few mindless individuals trying to upset things.
"I don't think Chris can do any more. He can only turn up for testing, turn up and perform."
Sutton, former Team Sky head coach, was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek

Rasmussen had questioned Thomas's climbing ability, while French commentators Laurent Jalabert and Cedric Vasseur - both former riders - have asked questions of Froome.

"I think it's really disappointing," said Froome of Jalabert and Vasseur. "Those are the guys that a lot of people look up to. And here they are casting doubt on current cycling and a clean cyclist and a clean team."

Despite Saturday's incident, Froome said he remained undeterred in his pursuit of a second Tour title and said the criticism had galvanised Team Sky.

"It is pulling us together as a unit," Froome added. "We feel as though we are under siege a little bit but it is a minority of people doing it.

"We work extremely hard to do what we do and it has nothing got nothing to do with doping."

More on Team Sky's pursuit of 2015 title
Why doesn't Britain like Chris Froome?
'Clean' Chris Froome wants more respect
Drug questions are a shame - Geraint Thomas