Chris Froome Scandal

A while back, I published an article titled “Who Is Chris Froome?”

Barton Haynes Cycling
Barton Haynes

This might be a relevant article to revisit due to the popular headlines in this week’s news. If you’ve been tuning into the news, you’ve probably seen headlines that look like this:

Tour de France Winner Chris Froome Failed Doping Test

Tour de France Winner Chris Froome is Under Investigation After Failed Doping Test

Experts Believe Chris Froome Will Require Scientific Proof For His Salutamol Spike

Chris Froome in Danger of Losing Vuelta Title After Asthma Drug Test Result

Team Sky and Chris Froome May Find Public Will Inflict A Grim Verdict

So, what does this all mean?

Below is an excellent summary of the current Chris Froome scandal being portrayed in the media. This article, from The Guardian, describes exactly what’s going on in Chris Froome’s fight to save his career after his failed drug tests.

Barton Haynes Cycling Froome
Barton Haynes

Britain’s most successful road cyclist Chris Froome is fighting to salvage his reputation after a failed drugs test during his victory in the Vuelta a España in September.

Following a joint investigation by the Guardian and Le Monde, which revealed that the 32-year-old had double the permitted levels of the asthma medication salbutamol in his body, the four-time Tour de France winner admitted that he had upped his dose of the drug during the race – but insisted he had not broken any rules.

However, unless Froome can provide a sufficient explanation for the abnormal finding, or challenge the result, he is likely to be stripped of his Vuelta title by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, and could be given a ban from the sport of up to 12 months.

In a statement on Wednesday, he insisted that he had operated within the rules. “It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are,” he said. “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.

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose. I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires.”

Froome later admitted that the adverse test “comes as a big shock to people” and insisted his legacy had not been tainted. “I can understand a lot of people’s reactions, especially given the history of the sport. This is not a positive test,” he told the BBC.

“The sport is coming from a very dark background and I have tried to do everything through my career to show that the sport has turned around.”

If the test result is upheld Froome could face a significant ban, which may rule him out of next year’s Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, where he was planning to go for a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey. In 2007 the Italian cyclist Alessandro Petacchi was given a 12-month ban for excessive salbutamol and stripped of his five stage victories in the Giro d’Italia. When asked for his reaction to the Guardian and Le Monde story, he said: “It’s an atomic bomb for cycling with Froome’s positive.”

Tweeting on Wednesday, Froome added: “Thank you for all the messages of support this morning. I am confident that we will get to the bottom of this. Unfortunately I can’t share any more information than I already have until the enquiry is complete.”

In a statement Team Sky said Froome received the notification of the adverse analytical finding from the UCI on 20 September, prior to the individual time trial event at the world championships. The team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of salbutamol. We’re committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion. I have the utmost confidence that Chris followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for salbutamol. Of course, we will do whatever we can to help address these questions.”

However the fact that Froome is battling to clear his name will only further ramp up the pressure on his beleaguered team – especially as it was built on the foundations of having a zero-tolerance drug policy.”

Barton Haynes
Barton Haynes

I truly hope that all can be settled fairly in this case, as well as with all cases, involving cycling and doping.

Thank you all for tuning in. Stay safe out there!

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