Mijas – Chris Froome insisted that
“misinformation” has led to rival riders calling for him to be
suspended after an abnormal doping test, as he started his season at the Ruta
del Sol on Wednesday.
“There is a lot misinformation out there. There are
also a lot of opinions of people who don’t quite fully understand the
process,” Froome said in response to those who have called for him to be
suspended pending a resolution to the case.
“But I do believe that when all the facts are out there
people will see it from my point of view.”
Froome was speaking ahead of the start of the five-day race
in Andalusia, his first appearance in the peloton since the revelations in
December of the test result.
Cycling’s international governing body the UCI is yet to
make a ruling on the test, which was given at last year’s Vuelta a Espana, a
race which Froome won.
However, UCI chief David Lappartient said last month that
Froome should be suspended over the adverse test and some of the rider’s main
rivals have hit out at cycling authorities for failing to ban him.
The four-time Tour de France winner has the right to ride
because salbutamol, the substance that showed up in the test, is an anti-asthma
drug which can be taken legally and so does not lead to an automatic ban.
The UCI have asked Froome to explain why twice the allowed
limit showed up in his sample.
“We are working as hard as we can to try to get this
resolved. No one wants this resolved more fast than I do,” added the
“It’s been a difficult period now. These are not normal
“Obviously this was meant to have been a confidential
process, which has been made public, but we are doing our best to get this
resolved now and I’m keeping my head down, I’ve been staying focused on my
training and getting ready for the season ahead.”
The reaction of other riders suggested that the presence of
Froome on the Ruta del Sol could provoke some resentment in the peloton.
But Froome said: “The support has been amazing and that
goes for other riders as well, the support I’ve received from the peloton has
just been incredible.”
Despite the criticism, Froome, who has not raced since
September, starts his 2018 season in the same country where he returned the
controversial test on September 7.
The first stage of the five-day race is a 197.6km ride from
Mijas on the Mediterranean coast to Granada. Froome won the race on his last
appearance in 2015.