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Froome cleared of wrongdoing in anti-doping case and free to race in Tour de France

“I am very pleased that the UCI has exonerated me…it’s also an important moment for cycling,” said Froome.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome

Updated Jul 2nd 2018, 12:25 PM

CHRIS FROOME HAS been cleared of any wrongdoing in his anti-doping case which had cast a shadow over his participation in the Tour de France.

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirms that the anti-doping proceedings involving Mr Christopher Froome have now been closed,” cycling’s ruling body announced this morning.

Team Sky’s four-time Tour de France champion has been under a cloud since he was found to have twice the permissible amount of asthma drug Salbutamol in his system during September’s Vuelta a Espana, which he won.

Tour de France organisers on Sunday banned Froome from taking part to protect the integrity of the world’s best-known cycling race.

Froome and Team Sky have welcomed the UCI’s decision to dismiss the case.

“I am very pleased that the UCI has exonerated me,” Froome said in a statement. “While this decision is obviously a big deal for me and the Team, it’s also an important moment for cycling.

“I understand the history of this great sport – good and bad. I have always taken my leadership position very seriously and I always do things the right way. I meant it when I said that I would never dishonour a winner’s jersey and that my results would stand the test of time.

“I have never doubted that this case would be dismissed for the simple reason that I have known throughout I did nothing wrong. I have suffered with asthma since childhood. I know exactly what the rules are regarding my asthma medication and I only ever use my puffer to manage my symptoms within the permissible limits

“Of course, the UCI had to examine these test results from the Vuelta. Unfortunately, the details of the case did not remain confidential, as they should have done. And I appreciate more than anyone else the frustration at how long the case has taken to resolve and the uncertainty this has caused. I am glad it’s finally over.

“I am grateful for all the support I have had from the Team and from many fans across the world. Today’s ruling draws a line. It means we can all move on and focus on the Tour de France.”

Team Sky general manager David Brailsford added: “We have always had total confidence in Chris and his integrity. We knew that he had followed the right medical guidance in managing his asthma at the Vuelta and were sure that he would be exonerated in the end, which he has been. This is why we decided that it was right for Chris to continue racing, in line with UCI rules, while the process was ongoing. We are pleased that it has now been resolved.

“Chris’s elevated Salbutamol urine reading from Stage 18 of the Vuelta was treated as a ‘presumed’ Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) by the UCI and WADA, which triggered a requirement for us to provide further information. After a comprehensive review of that information, relevant data and scientific research, the UCI and WADA have concluded that there was, in fact, no AAF and that no rule has been broken.

“We said at the outset that there are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of Salbutamol. The same individual can exhibit significant variations in test results taken over multiple days while using exactly the same amount of Salbutamol.

“This means that the level of Salbutamol in a single urine sample, alone, is not a reliable indicator of the amount inhaled. A review of all Chris’s 21 test results from the Vuelta revealed that the Stage 18 result was within his expected range of variation and therefore consistent with him having taken a permitted dose of Salbutamol.

“Chris has proved he is a great champion – not only on the bike but also by how he has conducted himself during this period. It has not been easy, but his professionalism, integrity and good grace under pressure have been exemplary and a credit to the sport.

“The greatest bike race in the world starts in five days. We can’t wait to get racing again and help Chris win it for a record-equalling fifth time.”

– © AFP 2018

–Additional reporting from Kevin O’Brien

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