Team Sky have been accused of deceiving the organisers of the Giro d'Italia by not informing them of Chris Froome's failed drugs test when they negotiated their seven-figure appearance fee.
On the eve of the prologue stage here in Jerusalem, race director Mauro Vegni condemned Sir Dave Brailsford for not disclosing the situation and intimated it would be better for the sport if Tom Dumoulin is standing on top of the podium at the finish in Rome.
The Italian then revealed that when news eventually broke of Froome's adverse analytical finding at last year's Vuelta a Espana, the Team Sky principal flew out to see him to explain himself.
Froome failed his test after the 18th stage of the Vuelta on September 7, with the UCI informing him of his adverse analytical finding on September 20.
It was announced at the official launch of the Giro D'Italia on November 29 that Froome had chosen to ride in a bid to become the first cyclist since Bernard Hinault to hold all three Grand Tour titles simultaneously. The Giro organisers only learned of Froome's situation, however, when the story broke in December.
Vegni said he was quick to contact Brailsford. 'I did express my thinking on the phone to Dave and he came immediately to Italy to meet me,' he said.
Vegni also shared his displeasure at the controversy over-shadowing this year's Giro.
Clearly uncomfortable with the idea of Froome winning his race when this cloud remains, Vegni did not dismiss the suggestion that it would be preferable to see Dumoulin successfully defend his title.
So would it be better for cycling if the Dutchman won? 'Let's say that it would be really a good outcome for the Giro,' said Vegni with a wry smile.
Vegni also said David Lappartient, the UCI president, had given assurances that no decision on Froome would come before the Giro.
Given that it is supposed to be an independent process, Sky might question whether such conversations should even be occurring.
Sky have released a statement, saying: 'The UCI process regarding Chris would normally have remained confidential.