Cycling: Froome to ride out asthma drug row in Spain

Great Britain's Christopher Froome wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey drinks champagne as he takes the start of the 103 km twenty-first and last stage of the 104th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on July 23, 2017 between Montgeron and Paris Champs-Elysees. / AFP PHOTO

Chris Froome will start his 2018 season as the favourite for Spain’s Ruta del Sol tomorrow, defying calls from senior figures in world cycling to withdraw from racing over the adverse drug test result he returned last September.

The four-time Tour de France winner had twice the permissible amount of the asthma medication Salbutamol in his system after stage 18 of the Tour of Spain - a race he went on to win - but the Team Sky rider, who says he has done nothing wrong, did not receive a provisional suspension.

International Cycling Union president David Lappartient and rival riders Romain Bardet and Vincenzo Nibali have all said the British cyclist should cease racing until his case is resolved.

And pressure on Froome increased last weekend when Jonathan Vaughters, the manager of the EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale team, suggested the presence of the previous Ruta del Sol winner at the five-day event and other upcoming races would be ‘damaging to cycling’.

“The honourable thing would be to recuse yourself from racing until it’s resolved,” Vaughters told reporters at the Colombia Oro y Paz stage race last week.

But Froome and Team Sky remain intent on the 32-year-old riding out the controversy with a full racing programme, including May’s Tour of Italy and July’s Tour de France.

Lappartient said last month that it could be ‘at least a year’ before a ruling was reached.

“On balance I think it’s the right thing to do; for Chris to continue, and us to work in the background to support him and demonstrate there’s been no wrongdoing,” Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford told reporters in Colombia last week.

Team Sky’s stance will be vindicated if they can convince the UCI there was no wrongdoing on Froome’s part, but the risk of widespread damage to cycling should they fail is high.

Italian riders Alessandro Petacchi and Diego Ulissi received 12 and nine-month bans respectively for excess Salbutamol levels. Should Froome receive a similar, backdated ban, his results from last year’s Tour of Spain through to at least this year’s Tour of Italy would be scrapped. [Reuters]

Next Story
Goalkeeper breaks into tears after his daughter's death

When the rest of the players found out what happened, they ran to hug and support

Former Barcelona star terms Real Madrid win over PSG ‘injustice’ and attacks Cristiano Ronaldo

Xavi Hernadez has launched scathing attack at his former Rival club Real Madrid for what he terms as perpetrating a win of ‘injustice’ against French

Real Madrid to offer £100M plus superstar forward for Eden Hazard, strikes agreement with Harry Kane

Chelsea’s in-form forward and playmaker Eden Hazard have resurfaced once with the latest reports linking Real Madrid with a player plus cash offer.

Conte happy to have selection headache ahead of Barca clash

Antonio Conte welcomed his selection headache ahead of a vital few weeks for the English champions after a much-changed side thrashed Hull City 4-0.

Arsenal to pay huge fee for ‘under fire’ Man United defender

If Arsenal are to sign top target Chris Smalling from Manchester United they are going to have to splash £25million.

Liverpool eyeing Kenyan midfielder as a replacement for Emre Can

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a move for Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama.

More Stories
Man City fan thanks Sergio Aguero for saving him from stewards' wrath, gets cleared by the courts

Manchester City fan has issued a heartfelt message of thanks to Sergio Aguero for trying to intervene when he got swept up in a pitch invasion

Porn star offers to save one of Italy’s oldest teams

Media reports indicate that the adult film actor has decided to join the fans in the process of salvaging the team’s efforts to avoid shut down.

Newcastle sources leak Mourinho’s ugly bust up with Pogba and Phil Jones after Newcastle game

Jose Mourinho was involved in furious bust up with star player Paul Pogba and Phil Jones after last week's dismal loss to Newcastle

Rallying: Rai wins Top Fry Nakuru Rally at Rift Valley Club

Onkar Rai clocked one hour 28minutes and 4.3seconds to retain the Top Fry Nakuru Rally yesterday at Rift Valley MotorsSports Club in Solai.

Neymar wants top Premier League manager to replace Unai Emery at PSG

Neymar wants a top premier league manager to replace Emery at PSG if they will be kicked out of the Champions League

Manchester United star who is set to retire names his successor

United star is set to retire at the end of the season and his successor is already known to him

Sportpesa Jackpot has been won

"We have a winner!! SportPesa is proud to announce that SportPesa Jackpot has been won

Vroooom! Rally cars in Nakuru

Top Fry Nakuru Rally defending champion Onkar Rai is the star attraction as the first round of the Kenya National Rally Championships revs-off at Naku

Manchester United set to replace longest serving player

According to The Manchester Evening News, United are looking for a long-term replacement with Mourinho preferring one with Premier League experience

Simader misses the mark but makes a point

Sabrina Simader did what no other Kenyan woman had done before; compete in the giant Slalom at the Winter Olympics.