Giro d'Italia race director calls on UCI to either suspend Froome before Giro, or let him race with any results standing and no retrospective ban
Giro d’Italia organisers have called on the UCI to take steps to ensure that Chris Froome is only allowed to start the race on May 4 if it is guaranteed that his results will stand following his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol.
Speaking at the launch of the 2018 edition of Strade Bianche in Siena, Giro d’Italia race director Mauro Vengi said that he was eager for the UCI to find a solution that would mean there would be no repeat of what happened with Alberto Contador in 2011.
“As the organisers of the Giro d’Italia we don’t want to stick our noses in, but we want a certification by the UCI that will allow the rider to be at the start of the next Giro d’Italia.
“They will have to tell us whether the rider is able to race regularly or whether he is suspended. We won’t accept a repeat of the Contador case and a retrospective ban.”
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In 2011, Alberto Contador raced and won the Giro d’Italia while under investigation for testing positive for clenbuterol at the previous year’s Tour de France.
It was not until February 2012, more than 18-months after Contador had delivered the positive test, that the Court of Arbitration for Sport finally delivered its verdict on the case, handing him a backdated two-year ban that saw him stripped of the 2011 Giro title which went instead to Michele Scarponi.
Froome is currently under investigation after he delivered a urine sample after stage 17 of the 2017 Vuelta a España which was found to contain twice the permitted concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol.
Froome has denied breaking anti-doping rules which allow athletes to take a maximum of 800mg of salbutamol per 12 hours, and, with Team Sky’s backing, has vowed to clear his name.
Watch: Giro d’Italia route 2018
According to recent reports, Froome’s legal team is set to argue that a kidney malfunction was to blame for the high level of salbutamol in the Team Sky rider’s body at the time of the test.
There is currently no timeline for the resolution of Froome’s case, with the UCI’s Legal Anti-Doping Services still evaluating the evidence.
Froome has stated his intention to be on the start line of the Giro d’Italia in Jerusalem on May 4, before attempting to go on to win the Tour de France which starts on July 7.