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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018

Chris Froome failed drug test during La Vuelta with twice the permitted level of asthma medication

Team Sky are challenging the result of the test carried out on the dominant cyclist in September.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

FOUR-TIME TOUR de France winner Chris Froome has been asked by cycling governing body the UCI to explain a failed drug test during his La Vuelta de Espana win in September.

A test on the 32-year-old showed he had twice the permitted threshold of legal asthma medication Salbutamol in his system.

The drug, as Team Sky pointed out in a statement in response to the revelation from The Guardian, is permitted without the need of a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) by the World anti-doping association (Wada) as long as athletes do not inhale more than 1,600 microgrammes in a 24-hour period, or 800 microgrammes over a 12-hour period.

Froome’s September urine sample showed 2,000 microgrammes, with Wada’s threshold set at 1,000 microgrammes.

“The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires,” Froome said in a statement released by Team Sky.

“It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are. I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader’s jersey.

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

Culture, Media and Sport select committee Brailsford gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee in London, on combating doping in sport. Source: PA

Sky’s general manager and former performance director of British Cycling Dave Brailsford says the failed test is down to an issue of how the body excretes Salbutomol:

“There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of Salbutamol. We’re committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion.”

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Sean Farrell

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