LONDON (Reuters) - Four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome has denied breaking any rules after a urine test he gave during the Vuelta a Espana in September showed excessive levels of an asthma medication.
Froome, who became the first British rider to win the Vuelta, had double the allowed level of the legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine, Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, said on Wednesday.
“I understand this comes as a big shock to people,” Froome told the BBC in an interview. “I certainly haven’t broken any rules here. I haven’t taken more than the permissible amount and I am sure at the end of the day the truth will be told.”
Team Sky rider Froome, 32, risks missing next year’s Tour de France and could lose his Vuelta crown unless he can provide a satisfactory explanation for the failed test during the Spanish race.
“I can understand a lot of people’s reactions, especially given the history of the sport. But this is a very different case. This is not a positive test,” Froome said.
“As it stands the UCI have asked me for more information regarding my use of Salbutamol, which is a very common medicine used in treating asthma.
“I have been only too happy to help the UCI fill in the blanks and give all that information up to try and get to the bottom of what has happened.”
Asked whether he felt his legacy had been permanently tainted, Froome said: “No.”
He added that he had shared “everything he had” regarding his use of the drug with cycling’s governing body.
“I have been a professional cyclist now, treating my symptoms and racing with asthma, for 10 years,” Froome said.
“I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits.
“I have got a very clear routine when I use my inhaler and how many times. I have given all that information to the UCI to help get to the bottom of it.”
Writing by Toby Davis; Editing by Greg Stutchbury