Chris Froome in danger of being blocked from Tour de France

22 March 2018 10:45
Chris Froome’s hopes of winning a fifth Tour de France are reportedly under threat, with race organiser ASO ready to try to block the Team Sky rider from starting this year’s race due to his on-going salbutamol case. The Press Association Sport news agency has claimed that ASO will refuse to let Froome line up in the Vendee region on July 7 if his case has not been resolved. PA sport cited “two senior cycling sources”. Two sources have also confirmed the possibility to Cyclingnews. Froome exceeded the allowed levels for salbutamol en route to victory at last year's Vuelta a España, but because salbutamol is considered a specified substance, the Team Sky rider remains free to race pending the resolution of the case.ADVERTISEMENT Froome has always denied any wrongdoing, saying that he respected medical guidelines for the use of his salbutamol asthma inhaler. He began his season at the Ruta del Sol and recently rode Tirreno-Adriatico. He has been announced for the Tour of the Alps stage race in Italy and Austria next month and is determined to push on with his plans to target the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2018. UCI president David Lappartient has previously tried to pressure Team Sky to suspend Froome from racing but he acknowledges that Froome has a right to race under UCI rules. Lappartient has accepted that a verdict is unlikely to be reached before the Giro d’Italia but on Wednesday, after he UCI presented its new strategy to fight mechanical doping, he said that the decision “must be on the table before the Tour de France,” adding, “I hope so because it would be a disaster for everybody if it's not the case.”  ASO seem determined to push Lappartient and the UCI to expedite the Froome case before the start of the Tour de France on July 7. Under UCI WorldTour rules the 18 WorldTour teams must accept the participation of all UCI WorldTeams. However, Cyclingnews understands that ASO traditionally have unique rights in the contracts with teams for the Tour de France, which may give them extra powers to safeguarding the image of the race and so stop a rider competing in their race. ASO is understood to be confident it could resist any legal challenge from Team Sky, possibly dragging the case into the French civil courts. However, ASO was forced to back down in a similar case in 2009 when it tried to stop Tom Boonen from riding the Tour de France following his out of competition positive test for cocaine. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme also accepted that Alberto Contador had the right to ride the Tour de France in 2011 as he awaited the appeal process of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Contador finished in the 2011 Tour de France, but was later stripped of his results after the CAS banned him for two years. Lappartient stuck in the middle You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News