Chris Froome is facing suspension from cycling after a routine drugs test during this year's Vuelta a España revealed twice the allowed level of asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine.
The Kenya-born Briton and four-time Tour de France winner has suffered from asthma since he was a child and was advised by his team doctor to increase his dosage when his symptoms flared up during the race.
Froome was notified of the “adverse analytical finding” on 20 September following tests on 7 September but the news only came to light on Wednesday after Team Sky issued a statement following the publication of a joint investigation by the Guardian and Le Monde.
The statement explained that Froome had “responded to a request for information from the UCI, the world governing body for cycling, about his use of medication for asthma during the 2017 Vuelta a España”.
It went on to state that he had experienced “acute asthma symptoms” during the final week of the Vuelta and that Froome increased his dosage of Salbutamol “still within the permissible doses”.
Froome himself welcomed the investigation, saying:“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.”
A significant ban
If the test result is upheld, Froome could face a significant ban and would have to forfeit his Vuelta title under UCI rules.
However, the cyclist tweeted thanks for the messages of support from fans and said:“I am confident that we will get to the bottom of this.”