Chris Froome (Team Sky) has welcomed the UCI’s decision to drop its anti-doping proceedings against him, describing it as “an important moment for cycling.” Froome returned an anti-doping sample containing twice the permitted limit of salbutamol at last year’s Vuelta a España, but he was free to race pending the resolution of the case.
The UCI’s lengthy statement on Monday morning did not specify why it had dropped the case against Froome, beyond noting that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had indicated that it “would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome’s sample results do not constitute an AAF [adverse analytical finding].”
“I am very pleased that the UCI has exonerated me,” Froome said in a statement issued by Team Sky. “While this decision is obviously a big deal for me and the Team, it’s also an important moment for cycling. I understand the history of this great sport – good and bad. I have always taken my leadership position very seriously and I always do things the right way. I meant it when I said that I would never dishonour a winner’s jersey and that my results would stand the test of time.”
News of Froome’s salbutamol positive broke in December of last year, but the Briton ignored UCI president David Lappartient wish that he recuse himself from racing until the case was resolved. Froome proceeded to win the Giro d’Italia in May and is now set to line out as favourite for the Tour de France, although ASO has made a formal attempt to block his participation on the grounds that his presence would damage the reputation in the race.
“I have never doubted that this case would be dismissed for the simple reason that I have known throughout I did nothing wrong. I have suffered with asthma since childhood. I know exactly what the rules are regarding my asthma medication and I only ever use my puffer to manage my symptoms within the permissible limits,” Froome said.
“Of course, the UCI had to examine these test results from the Vuelta. Unfortunately, the details of the case did not remain confidential, as they should have done. And I appreciate more than anyone else the frustration at how long the case has taken to resolve and the uncertainty this has caused. I am glad it’s finally over.
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