Road Cycling

Road Cycling | Chris Froome Insists “I Know Exactly What the Rules Are” After Failed Drug Test

The record-breaking cyclist failed a test after stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana

Chris Froome is in a battle to save his reputation and career after it has been released that he failed a drug test at the Vuelta a Espana.

Froome, who is Britain’s most successful ever road cyclist, and who is asmatic, was found to have an excessive level of asthma drug salbutamol in his system at Vuelta, and could face being stripped of his win.

Riders are allowed 1,000 nanograms per millilitre of salbutamol, but Froome was revealed to have twice that amount. There is the possibility that he took the recommended amount but then consumed food or drink products that increased the amount of salbutamol in his system.

Team Sky released a detailed statment on the announcement, with Sir Dave Brailsford insisting they have the “utmost confidence” that he stayed within the rules and Froome saying that he was following the Team Sky doctor’s advice after his astma worsened.

A statement from Team Sky said: “The UCI informed Chris that a urine test conducted on 7 September 2017, following Stage 18 of the Vuelta, revealed a concentration of Salbutamol which exceeds a threshold that requires him to provide information to confirm that he inhaled no more than the permissible dose.

“Analysis indicated the presence of Salbutamol at a concentration of 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), compared with the WADA threshold of 1,000ng/ml. None of the 20 other urine tests taken by Chris required any further explanation.

“The notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken. The finding triggers requests from the UCI which are aimed at establishing what caused the elevated concentration of Salbutamol and to ensure that no more than the permissible doses of Salbutamol were inhaled.”

“There is considerable evidence to show that there are significant and unpredictable variations in the way Salbutamol is metabolised and excreted. As a result, the use of permissible dosages of Salbutamol can sometimes result in elevated urinary concentrations, which require explanation. A wide range of factors can affect the concentrations, including the interaction of Salbutamol with food or other medications, dehydration and the timing of Salbutamol usage before the test.”

Chris Froome said: “It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are. I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader’s jersey.

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.

“I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires.”

Sir Dave Brailsford said: “There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of Salbutamol. We’re committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion.

“I have the utmost confidence that Chris followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for Salbutamol. Of course, we will do whatever we can to help address these questions.”


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.