PARIS (Reuters) - Former Tour de France champion Chris Froome has revealed he missed a drugs test earlier this year but blamed over-zealous hotel staff for the mishap.
"I had a couple of recovery days and I took my wife down to quite an exclusive hotel in Italy," the 2013 Tour champion was quoted as saying in British media.
"On the first morning the authorities pitched up at seven and the hotel staff actually wouldn't give them access to our room and also refused to let them call up."
Riders must provide their whereabouts at all times to the authorities so they can be tested out of competition.
Three missed tests over a rolling 12-month period result in a ban.
"So when we came down for breakfast at 8.30, they basically just said to us: 'OK, the anti-doping guys were here to test you this morning but it's our hotel policy not to let them disturb our clients or let anyone disturb our clients'," Froome explained.
"So that was a hugely frustrating situation for me."
Froome said he should have anticipated a potential test.
"I should have been more proactive in letting the hotel know this was a possibility that I could be tested. I've certainly learned my lesson there," he said.
Briton Froome is one of the favorites for this year's Tour, which starts in Utrecht, Netherlands, on July 4.
Missed doping tests are a hot topic in the Britain at the moment after distance runner Mo Farah admitted to missing two in the build up to the 2012 Olympics, where he won two gold medals.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Nick Mulvenney