Tour de France Champ Chris Froome on His Failed Drug Test

Chris Froome in Stage 21 of Tour de France
Cycling: 104th Tour de France 2017 / Stage 21 KT / Contributor

Chris Froome, one of the most established and successful cyclists in the world, failed a drug test for having double the allowed amount of asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine, according to a press release from the Union Cycliste Internationale.

The World Anti-Doping Agency allows a maximum of 1600 micrograms (16 puffs) over 24 hours, but prohibits more than 800 micrograms in a 12-hours window.

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Froome took the test on September 7 at the Vuelta a España—a race he won shortly after nabbing his fourth Tour de France win.

“It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are,” he told CNN. “I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader’s jersey.”

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Froome says he increased his Salbutamol dosage (via inhaler) once in Vuelta because his asthma worsened, alleging he stayed within the permissible limits. He and his team, Team Sky, are providing any and all information the UCI needs.

As of now, Froome has not been suspended.

It’s also possible there were confounding factors that influenced how Salbutamol was metabolized in Froome’s body.

“We’ve shown data that demonstrates that if you’re dehydrated the concentration level can go above the threshold level and also if your metabolism is fast that can also increase the level,” John Dickinson, Ph.D., head of the respiratory clinic at the University of Kent told CNN.

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