'I know I haven't done anything wrong' - Froome back in action

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Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome says he will go forth with plans to compete in Spain's Ruta del Sol on Wednesday despite repeated calls for him to withdraw from the race.

He and a team of lawyers are constructing a case to prove there is a legitimate reason a urine sample given during the Vuelta a España last September indicated double the permitted amount of the asthma drug salbutamol.

Rival riders Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet, as well as the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) David Lappartient have said they believe the British cyclist should take a break from racing until the case has been resolved.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has highlighted the degree of support he has received from other riders in the peloton following his first day of racing in 2018 on the Ruta del Sol. "I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation", Froome said in a statement on Team Sky's website last week.

BC-CYC-Ruta del Sol-Froome, 187Froome returns to racing despite doping investigationEds: APNewsNow.

"I hope it doesn't get that far but I'm still allowed to race now and I don't see why not", he told BBC Sport. "We're going as fast as we can on it and hopefully get it resolved as soon as possible". "It's the first time I've seen a lot of guys since before this all happened", he said, "so it's great to catch up with people in person and incredible to see how much support there is out there". The stage was won by Frenchman Thomas Boudat, a former omnium world champion on the track.

Whatever the future verdict, Froome can expect to be the center of intense attention, from the media, the fans and cycling professionals in his first race since the news of his test result.

"What was very touching today was how many riders from other teams came up to me during the stage to offer their support".

Salbutamol is not a banned substance, but Froome will be subject to a sanction if no legitimate physiological explanation for the finding is provided.

If Froome can convince the UCI that no wrongdoing took place, Team Sky will be exonerated.

Froome announced his intention to ride the Giro in November.

"Obviously it was meant to be a confidential process".

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