Froome had abnormal test result in Spain

Dec 13, 2017 - 8:55 AM British road cyclist Chris Froome returned an abnormal drug test result during his victory in this year's Spanish Vuelta, his Sky team and the governing body UCI confirmed on Wednesday.

Froome's samples showed a high level of the asthma drug salbutamol in a test taken on September 7, following Stage 18 of the Vuelta, Sky said in response to a report published by Britain's Guardian newspaper and the French paper Le Monde.

"The analysis of the B sample has confirmed the results of the rider's A sample and the proceedings are being conducted in line with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules," the UCI said in a statement.

Salbutamol was in Froome's urine sample at a concentration of 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), twice the World Anti-Doping Agency threshold of 1,000ng/ml.

Sky said that the adverse finding "does not mean that any rule has been broken," and that the "finding triggers requests from the UCI which are aimed at establishing what caused the elevated concentration of salbutamol and to ensure that no more than the permissible doses of salbutamol were inhaled."

Froome has had asthma since childhood and Sky said he took increased medication, within the permitted amount, in the days running up to the test.

The 32-year-old made history in September when he became the first rider to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same year since Bernard Hinault did so in 1978.

The four-time Tour de France winner is trying to challenge the findings, according to the British paper. If he is not successful, he could forfeit his Vuelta title and face a ban which could end his hopes of a first Giro d'Italia in 2018.

"It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are," Froome said in a statement.

"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.

"I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires."

Froome's adverse finding comes a month after Britain's anti-doping agency UKAD has closed a probe in connection with the contents of a medical package for the now retired Bradley Wiggins, another Team Sky rider, in 2011, over insufficient evidence.

Wiggins maintained his innocence in that case in what he said was "a living hell for me and my family, full of innuendo and speculation."

Team Sky now find themselves on the defensive once more.

Source: AAP

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