Team Sky captain Chris Froome avoided questions over his salbutamol case as he prepared for the start of this week’s Tour of the Alps.
Froome’s urine sample from last year’s Vuelta a Espana – a race the 32-year-old won – tested over the limit of the asthma drug salbutamol. The rider insists that he did nothing wrong and is a known asthma sufferer.
He has not spoken publicly about the case since the Tirreno-Adriatico in March, only taking to Twitter to describe a report in Le Monde, which claimed that the issue had been sent to the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal, as “fake news”. The Tweet was later deleted.
Salbutamol is a considered a ‘specified substance’ and any positive test for it does not trigger an automatic suspension. Froome has continued racing and is targeting victories at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
"As I said from the beginning, this whole process was meant to have been confidential. That's no longer the case, so it's not something I'm going to keep giving a running commentary on, and I don't feel others should be doing that either," Froome said at the Tour of the Alps pre-race press conference.
"We are working as quickly as we can to get it resolved," added Froome. "I don't have a timeline to give publicly but we're following the process that has been set out to us by the UCI. Hopefully, we'll have a resolution as soon as possible."
He stated that he has not received a negative reaction from cycling enthusiasts: "In terms of reactions from fans, I've raced all over Europe this year and the support has been overwhelming.
“It has been quote touching actually, that people have reached out. Like I've already said, from the peloton too, the team has been a huge support too. Hopefully, we get to the bottom of this as soon as possible."