Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he will go forth with plans to compete in Spain’s Ruta del Sol on Wednesday despite repeated calls for him to withdraw from the race.
Prominent figures within the cycling world have said Froome should stop competing until investigations surrounding the results of drug tests, which came back in September showing he had double the permissible amount of asthma medication in his system, have been concluded.
The Laureus Sportsman of the Year nominee has not been provisionally suspended despite the high amounts of Salbutomol found in his system after Stage 18 of the Tour of Spain race ̶ a race he went on to win.
The Team Sky rider and his team, insist he has done nothing wrong, and have said he will continue with a full racing programme, which will include May’s Tour of Italy and the Tour de France in July.
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford told reporters last week he believed the decision for Froome to continue racing was the right one.
“On balance I think it’s the right thing to do; for Chris to continue, and us to work in the background to support him and demonstrate there’s been no wrongdoing.”
Rival riders Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet, as well as the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) David Lappartient have said they believe the British cyclist should take a break from racing until the case has been resolved.
Lappartient said it could take “at least a year” before investigations are completed and a ruling can be reached.
If Froome can convince the UCI that no wrongdoing took place, Team Sky will be exonerated. There is, however, a risk of widespread damage to cycling should he fail.
In addition, if the 32-year-old cyclist does fail to convince the UCI of his innocence, he could receive a backdated ban that will have his results from the last Tour of Spain to at least this year’s Tour of Italy scrapped.