Chris Froome admits drug test is 'damaging' but hopes to clear name


Four-time Tour de France victor Froome, who rides for Team Sky, was recently found to have double the allowed level of the legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine on a test taken on September 7 during the Vuelta a España - one of cycling's three Grand Tours - which the 32-year-old went on to win.

Chris Froome is facing questions after returning an "adverse" drugs test at the Vuelta a Espana. "On the advice of the Team Sky doctor, he used an increased dosage of Salbutamol (still within the permissible doses) in the run-up to the 7 September urine test", Team Sky said.

Vincenzo Nibali, who finished second in the Vuelta behind Froome, also voiced his frustration at the news and said it was "not a great day" for Froome and for cycling.

"I am being tested every single day of the race that I am in the leader's jersey, I knew I was being tested", Froome said.

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.

"The detail of information we've been able to provide the authorities is vast and I hope with that information, we can get to the bottom of this and find out what the real cause of the problem is".

"I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits". My hope is that this doesn't prevent asthmatic athletes from using their inhalers in emergency situations for fear of being judged.

"It's sad seeing the misconceptions that are out there about athletes & salbutamol use", was posted on Froome's Twitter.

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"I can't say what other people are going to think at the end of this".

Salbutamol is banned by WADA when taken intravenously or in pill form - as research suggests large doses administered like this can boost performance - but asthma sufferers are allowed to take up 1,600 microgrammes over 24 hours without exceeding 800mcg every 12 hours. "Do he and his team enjoy a special status?" he wrote. "What's going on here is inconsistent, unprofessional, and unfair".

Froome went on to win the Spanish title to add to his four Tour de France titles.

Froome had come out unscathed until this winter, when the communications revealed that he and the team had the counter-analysis and was working on clarifying the issue with the UCI governing body.

Further addressing the reputational damage done to the sport by the reaction to Froome's AAF, Martin called on the UCI to provide leadership and clarity surrounding doping.

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.

Dr. Dickinson also said it was possible for Froome to argue his case successfully.

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