MADRID – Britain’s four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome said on Wednesday he would provide any information required by the International Cycling Union, the sport’s world governing body, after twice the permitted dosage of an asthma drug was found in a urine sample he provided during this year’s Vuelta a España.
Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, riders must restrict levels of Salbutamol, commonly found in inhalers used by asthmatics, to 1,000 nanograms per milliliter, but a test taken by the 32-year-old Team Sky cyclist towards the end of the 2017 Vuelta, which he went on to win, revealed almost double that concentration, meaning he has to explain the finding to the union (UCI) as per its anti-doping guidelines.
“It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are,” Froome said in a statement released via Team Sky. “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.”
He said his asthma symptoms grew worse at the Vuelta and he increased his intake of Salbutamol on doctor’s orders, all the while ensuring he restricted his dosage to permissible levels.
“I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously,” Froome said. “The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires.”
Team Sky manager Sir Dave Brailsford said he was confident that the Kenyan-born British cyclist followed WADA guidelines and that the team was committed to establishing why the test showed such a high dosage, adding that the secretion of Salbutamol entailed complicated medical and physiological issues.
None of the other 20 test samples provided by Froome required further explanation to the UCI.
Olympic bronze medalist Froome has become a dominant force in the world of cycling, with four Tour de France general classifications to his name – three consecutively – and a double – Tour de France-Vuelta – in 2017.