Chris Froome’s salbutamol case is reportedly set to be heard by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal, with Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport suggesting that “from the end of this week or the start of next week, every day could be good for the start of opening of a procedure under the Tribunal.”
Froome is due to start his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol race in southern Spain on Wednesday, February 14. It will be his first race with Team Sky since his salbutamol case became public knowledge on December 13 following an investigation by Le Monde and The Guardian.
Froome is expected to arrive in Spain late on Tuesday and so will not attend the traditional pre-race press conference. He is likely to speak to the media at the Team Sky bus before the start of stage 1 of the Ruta del Sol from Mijas to Grenada.
There was 2,000ng/ml of salbutamol, more than double the allowed limit, found in Froome’s urine sample taken after stage 17 of the Vuelta a España on September 7. Because salbutamol is a specified substance, Froome is allowed to continue to race until the case is resolved, although the UCI president David Lappartient and a number of riders have called on him and Team Sky to avoid racing during the investigation.
Team Sky preferred not to comment on the latest La Gazzetta dello Sport report, despite the paper correctly reporting that Froome would return to racing at the Ruta del Sol. The UCI did not respond to questions from Cyclingnews.
It is believed that Froome and his legal team are still providing information to the UCI as he tries to explain his high limit of salbutamol despite five months passing since the case first emerged. The French newspaper L’Equipe has suggested that Froome’s defence could include suggestions that his kidneys somehow retained a quantity of salbutamol and then released it on the day of the test.
- Chris Froome returns adverse analytical finding for salbutamol
- Vuelta a Espana organisers call for ‘extreme caution’ after Froome salbutamol result
- Giro d’Italia organisers not warned about Froome’s salbutamol case
- Timeline of Chris Froome’s adverse analytical finding for salbutamol
The UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal
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