Defiant Christ Froome buoyed by peloton support

Chris Froome insists he has “done nothing wrong” and has defended his decision to return to racing at the Ruta del Sol.

Defiant Christ Froome buoyed by peloton support

The four-time Tour de France winner is still fighting to prove his innocence after returning an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug salbutamol during last year’s La Vuelta — a race he won in a historic Tour-Vuelta double.

Several rivals, as well as UCI president David Lappartient, have called for Froome to be suspended by Team Sky until the case is resolved.

The 32-year-old finished safely in the main bunch on the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol between Mijas and Granada yesterday, a stage won by France’s Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie) in a sprint finish.

“It was good to be back racing,” Froome told Sky Sports News. “What was really touching was how riders from other teams came over to offer their support.”

Beforehand, Froome had told Sky Sports: “I know I’ve done nothing wrong and there’s a process in place for me to be able to demonstrate that, and that’s obviously what I intend to do. It is not going to go any faster if I was sitting at home. We’re going as fast as we can on it now and hopefully we’ll get a result as soon as possible.”

Froome also said, according to The Times: “Obviously it was meant to be a confidential process. It has been made public now but a lot of other athletes and riders have been through this process. I’m not asking for the benefit of the doubt here. I’m just asking for a fair process.”

Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford says Froome “stuck within the rules” regarding the use of his inhaler.

“Let’s keep a bit of perspective here. What we’re talking about is an inhaler,” Brailsford told Sky Sports News. “It’s a puffer. How many times is he allowed to use his puffer? You’re allowed to use it 16 times in 24 hours and of course the question here is, ‘Did he use it more than that?’

“The rules aren’t about the urine, or the levels in the urine, the rules are about how many times you take your puffer.

“It has been proven that even if you take your puffer less than the amounts which you’re entitled to, you can excrete more than the threshold in your urine. It has been proven time and time again, it can happen.

“If that does happen, the rules are around the number of times of use and I can guarantee you he hasn’t gone over the use.

“We do need to get to the bottom of it, we do need to understand it, but it is not this great calamity of a doping story which people are trying to make out. It is a pretty straightforward scenario.

“Going forward I’m sure we’ll be able to demonstrate to everybody that he absolutely stuck within the rules.”

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

GAATitleGAALogo

Sat, Sept 25

Castlehaven
v
Eire Og

PSFC Round 2

Enniskeane
2pm

Sun, Sept 26

Clyda Rovers
v
Mallow

SAFC Round 2

Glantane
2pm

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up