UCI Drop Chris Froome Salbutamol Investigation 'Based on Expert Opinions'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2018

Pink jersey and winner, Britain's rider of team Sky Christopher Froome, kisses the trophy on the podium after the 21st and last stage of the 101st Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, on May 27, 2018 in Rome. - Britain's Chris Froome completed a sensational comeback to win the Giro d'Italia on Sunday for a rare Grand Tour treble after the 21st and final stage in Rome. Froome, 33, became the first Briton to win the race in the Giro's 101-year history after the 115km closed circuit race through the streets of the Italian capital. (Photo by LUK BENIES / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images)
LUK BENIES/Getty Images

Team Sky cyclist Chris Froome has been cleared by UCI following an anti-doping investigation.

As reported by BBC Sport, it was confirmed the case had been dropped by the sports cycling governing body on Monday. Froome was being investigated after double the amount of permitted salbutamol was found in his urine sample during the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.

A statement from UCI said the decision was "based on expert opinions" and advice from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

Froome posted the following on Twitter:

Chris Froome @chrisfroome

Grateful and relieved to finally put this chapter behind me, it has been an emotional 9 months. Thank you to all of those who have supported and believed in me throughout. https://t.co/OGzsg83Gjj

In a statement on their website, Team Sky said they welcomed the decision reached by UCI and WADA.

"We have always had total confidence in Chris and his integrity," said team principal Dave Brailsford. "We knew that he had followed the right medical guidance in managing his asthma at the Vuelta and were sure that he would be exonerated in the end, which he has been."

Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail offered his insight on the verdict:

Matt Lawton @Matt_Lawton_DM

Previous cases suggested Froome was in trouble at one stage. But never did hear a convincing explanation for how he’d hit double the permitted limit. Or a reason why you’d take a risk with a drug that seems to offer so little in terms of performance enhancement.

With Froome cleared of any wrongdoing, he may now be clear to defend his Tour de France title, with the event set to get started on Sunday.

As reported by the Guardian, the organisers of the Tour, Amaury Sport Organisation, had previously sought to block Froome from entering the race as a result of the ongoing investigation. Should he make it to the start line, the 33-year-old will bid to clinch the iconic yellow jersey in Paris for a fifth time.

Per author Michael Hutchinson, it's been an eventful spell in Froome's career:

Michael Hutchinson @Doctor_Hutch

Froome now clear to go for a unique cycling quintuple: Grand Tour, Grand Tour, Grand Tour, cleared of a doping offence, Grand Tour.

As things stand, Froome is the defending champion in all three of cycling's Grand Tour events, having won the Vuelta last year and the Giro D'Italia this year.

In the Giro, the Team Sky man produced a sensational performance late in the event, obliterating the field on Stage 19 to take the pink jersey and eventually win the general classification by 46 seconds from Tom Dumoulin.

Should Froome triumph in Paris again, he'd join a select group of riders to have won the race five times in Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.