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

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2017

Overall leader's yellow jersey Great Britain's Christopher Froome reacts as he arrives to a press conference at his hotel on the second rest day of the 2016 Tour de France cycling race in Hilterfingen, Switzerland on July 19, 2016. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) have confirmed a sample collected from British cycling star Chris Froome contained more than the legal amount of asthma drug Salbutamol.

In a statement on the UCI website, it's noted the sample was taken during the Vuelta a Espana on September 7, an event Froome won. As noted by Sean Ingle and Martha Kelner of the Guardian, he is now in danger of losing the victory as a result of this abnormal test, which indicated he had double the allowable limit.

"The analysis of the B sample has confirmed the results of the rider's A sample and the proceedings are being conducted in line with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules," continued the statement.

Per BBC Sport, Froome, a four-time Tour de France winner, said the UCI are "absolutely right" to demand more information about his Salbutamol measurement and that he "followed the team doctor's advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage."

According to Kelner and Ingle, Froome's Team Sky have been seeking to challenge the result of the test, which is why it's taken until December to come to light in public.

Froome is a four-time winner of the Tour de France.
Froome is a four-time winner of the Tour de France.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

"However if the Briton is unable to offer a sufficient explanation for the abnormal finding or challenge the result itself he will forfeit his Vuelta title under the rules of cycling's world governing body, the UCI," continued the piece.

In addition, Froome is said to be facing a suspension from the sport if the decision isn't reversed, meaning he would potentially miss next year's Giro d'Italia and Tour. Sports journalist Daniel Friebe documented some other examples of similar cases in the sport:

Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford added in a statement on the stable's website he is confident the rider "followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for Salbutamol."

Cycling News' Daniel Benson picked up on some interesting facets in the statement from Team Sky:

The news is a blemish at the end of what has been a memorable year for Froome in which he clinched the Vuelta-Tour double, becoming only the third man in cycling history to do so.

While his success in the sport has been remarkable, cycling fans have failed to take to Froome even though he's never previously returned any positive samples. As he effectively clinched his fourth Tour win in Marseille earlier in the year, he was roundly booed by the home crowd as he entered the Stade Velodrome.

Related

    Froome Secures Historic Victory in Vuelta

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Froome Secures Historic Victory in Vuelta

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Froome Racing for History at Vuelta a Espana

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Froome Racing for History at Vuelta a Espana

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Cycling Champion James Retires

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Cycling Champion James Retires

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    Alberto Contador to Retire from Cycling

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Alberto Contador to Retire from Cycling

    Press Association
    via the Guardian