Chris Froome: 'My legacy won't be tainted'

The Sky man says he expects his salbutamol case to resolved in his favour by the UCI

Photo: Daniel Gould

Team Sky's Chris Froome says that his legacy as cycling champion will not be tainted by a high reading of asthma drug salbutamol this summer at the Vuelta a España.

The team and the cycling governing body revealed on Wednesday that he tested at 2000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), 1000 over the legal limit for the inhaler spray after the 18th stage of the Vuelta, September 7.

>>> Tony Martin ‘totally angry’ at ‘double standards’ in Chris Froome salbutamol case

Froome went on to win the Spanish title to add to his four Tour de France titles.

"No," Froome said when asked by BBC Sport if this would permanently taint his legacy.

"I can understand a lot of people's reactions, especially given the history of the sport. This is not a positive test.

Chris Froome on stage six of the 2017 Vuelta a España
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

"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."

Sky and British Cycling just came through a period of defending themselves against various claims of wrongdoing around TUEs with Bradley Wiggins.

Froome had come out unscathed until this winter, when the communications revealed that he and the team had the counter-analysis and was working on clarifying the issue with the UCI governing body.

"I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits," added Froome.

"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."

The team and Froome said they were informed of the test on September 20.

With the clear anti-doping rule infringement, Froome could face a year's suspension and loss of his Vuelta title. Alessandro Petacchi, who was banned for overuse of Salbutamol in 2007, told Cycling Weekly that these days bans are more severe and that he expected Froome to battle any decision to the CAS, high court for sports.

Froome admitted that he was suffering in the Vuelta but did not explain how the value could have climbed so high. The team said that he was experiencing "acute asthma symptoms." The team doctor gave an increased dosage of salbutamol, but it said that it was within the permissible limit.

"I am racing against guys who are looking for any kind of weakness," Froome said.

"I am not going to admit through a Grand Tour that 'yes. I am suffering with something', because the next day my rivals will come out absolutely swinging."

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