British cyclist Chris Froome fails drug test, wants to cooperate with UCI

Chris Froome says he is ready to provide any information required by the Union Cycliste Internationale.

Chris Froome wins fourth Tour De France title
Chris Froome in after Tour De France title

Chris Froome, the British cyclist and four-time Tour de France champion said on 13 December, Wednesday that he is ready to provide any information required by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's world governing body, after authority found permitted dosage of an asthma drug in a urine sample twice. He provided the samples during 2017 Vuelta a España.

According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, riders must restrict levels of Salbutamol, commonly found in inhalers used by asthmatics, to 1000 nanograms per milliliter. But a test taken by the 32-year-old Team Sky cyclist towards the end of the 2017 Vuelta, which he went on to win, revealed almost double that concentration. This means that he has to explain the finding to the union (UCI) as per its anti-doping guidelines.

"It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are," Froome said in a statement released via Team Sky. "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," he added.

Froome said that since his asthma symptoms grew worse at the Vuelta and he had to increase his dosage of Salbutamol on doctor's orders. The 32-year-old also said that he restricted his dosage to permissible levels.

"I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously," Froome said. "The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires," he concluded.

Team Sky manager Sir Dave Brailsford said he was confident that the Kenyan-born cyclist followed WADA guidelines and that the team was committed to establishing why the test showed such a high dosage, adding that the secretion of Salbutamol entailed complicated medical and physiological issues.

None of the other 20 test samples provided by Froome required further explanation to the UCI.

Olympic bronze medallist Froome has become a dominant force in the world of cycling, with four Tour de France general classifications to his name -- three consecutively and a double -- Tour de France-Vuelta in 2017.

(With inputs from IANS)