The UCI, cycling’s international mother body, has closed its anti-doping case against Chris Froome just days before the start of the Tour de France.
The Team Sky rider returned a sample with twice the permitted level of salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, but the UCI has said that the results do not constitute an adverse analytical finding (AAF).
“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 Mr Froome,” read the UCI statement on Monday.
“Whilst the UCI would have obviously preferred the proceedings to have been finalised earlier in the season, it had to ensure that Mr Froome had a fair process, as it would have done with any other rider, and that the correct decision was issued.
“Having received WADA’s position on 28 June 2018, the UCI prepared and issued its formal reasoned decision as quickly as possible in the circumstances.
“The UCI understands that there will be significant discussion of this decision, but wishes to reassure all those involved in or interested in cycling that its decision is based on expert opinions, WADA’s advice, and a full assessment of the facts of the case.
“The UCI hopes that the cycling world can now turn its focus to, and enjoy, the upcoming races on the cycling calendar.”
Tour de France organisers had sent notice that they would not allow Froome to start the race, but this development means the four-time winner and defending champion will take to the start line on Saturday for Stage 1.