Froome facing questions over adverse test result

Froome facing questions over adverse test result

Speaking to Sky Sports, the 32-year-old said of urine tests which showed excessive levels of the drug: "It has come as a huge shock to me, but at the same time, I know that within me I have fundamentally followed the protocol".

In response to a journalist who suggested the issue was about whether Froome abused the medication, the two-time Olympic medallist added: "I didn't take more salbutamol than permitted, I've made that very clear".

Chris Froome admitted Thursday that his adverse drugs test during his victory at the Vuelta a Espana is "damaging" as the four-time Tour de France victor battles to clear his name.

Froome said he simply upped his dosage on the advice of the team doctor after his asthma symptoms got worse.

The team said Froome had declared his use of the medication, adding: "The notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken".

The adverse analytical finding occurred in a routine test after the Vuelta's 18th stage on September 7 - a day that saw Froome respond to a disappointing ride the day before by stretching his lead over rival Vincenzo Nibali on the last climb. The team said that he was experiencing "acute asthma symptoms".

The UCI said Froome's B sample - athletes' anti-doping samples are split into A and B samples as a fail-safe precaution - had been analysed and it confirmed the results of the initial test.

"You've got to remember that in a race like the Vuelta - especially when I'm in the leader's jersey - I'm being tested absolutely every single day of the race that I'm in the leader's jersey and I knew I was being tested".

He also took to Twitter, saying: "I am confident that we will get to the bottom of this". My hope is that this doesn't prevent asthmatic athletes from using their inhalers in emergency situations for fear of being judged.

"As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose", he said.

And on Thursday Michael Rasmussen, the retired Danish rider who admitted he had used performance-enhancing drugs for most of his career, criticised a tweet by Chris Froome which bemoaned "the misconceptions that are out there about athletes and Salbutamol".

"Do he and his team enjoy a special status?"

If Froome fails to provide a satisfactory answer, the UCI - the sport's governing body - could proceed with an anti-doping rule violation case which could strip him of his Vuelta victory and result in him missing a large chunk of next season.

"We need a (consistent) and transparent approach by the UCI", was posted on Martin's Facebook. "What's going on here is inconsistent, unprofessional, and unfair".

The Kenyan-born rider is the first to win back-to-back Grand Tours since Marco Pantani won the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 1998.

"There is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case", he wrote.



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