Froome cleared of doping by UCI ahead of Tour de France

Chris Froome- Chris Froome cleared to defend Tour de France after salbutamol case dropped by UCI

Chris Froome is now expected to start the Tour de France following the UCI decision Credit AP

Britain's Chris Froome is clear to chase another Tour de France title.

Reports on Sunday had suggested the 33-year-old would be blocked from competing by organisers Amaury Sport Organisation [ASO].

Team Sky's four-time Tour de France champion has been under a cloud since he was found to have twice the permissible amount of the legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his system during September's Vuelta a Espana, which he won.

"I am very pleased that the UCI has exonerated me", said the Team Sky rider in a statement.

Froome exercised his right to prove his abnormal result was the outcome of a permitted use of the asthma medication and submitted his explanation to the UCI with additional expert evidence after requesting information from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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Chris Froome was cleared Monday of wrongdoing in an anti-doping case which had cast a shadow over his participation in the Tour de France.

"In light of WADA's unparalleled access to information and authorship of the salbutamol regime, the UCI has decided, based on WADA's position, to close the proceedings against Froome".

"The proceedings we had started to prevent damage to the image (of the race) is void because sporting authorities are stating no foul has been made", Prudhomme said.

On 28 June 2018, the World Anti Doping Agency informed the UCI that Froome's sample results did not in fact constitute an adverse analytical finding.

Froome welcomed the news which means he can attempt to win a record-equalling fifth Tour when the race gets underway in Noirmoutier.

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ASO, which also runs the Vuelta through a company called Unipublic, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"It is a ruling we accept and will uphold", Unipublic said.

The UCI ruling is a controversial one since Italian riders Alessandro Petacchi and Diego Ulissi were banned, in 2007 and 2014 respectively, for excessive salbutamol use.

Froome's appeal against the decision to bar him will be heard by the French national Olympic committee in Paris on Tuesday.

"We have always had total confidence in Chris and his integrity", Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said.

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Since those cases, a 2016 scientific study showed that some subjects who inhaled the maximum dose all at once exceeded the "decision limit" of 1200ng/mL salbutamol levels in urine that would trigger an adverse analytical finding, but if the samples were standardized for concentration (specific gravity), there were fewer samples that exceeded the limit.

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