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Failure to suspend Froome a "scandal", says rival rider


Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome’s renewed claims of innocence were accompanied by doubts about why he was not immediately suspended for failing a doping test.

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The British cyclist has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why he had double the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol in his urine after providing a sample at the Spanish Vuelta in September.

While accepting the case is “damaging” for a sport scarred by doping scandals, Froome insisted Team Sky have evidence to prove he is not guilty of cheating.

But rival rider Tony Martin said the UCI’s handling of the case was a “scandal”.

“I am totally angry,” the German wrote on Facebook .

“There is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case. Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test. 

“He and his team are given time by the UCI to explain it all. I do not know of any similar case in the recent past. 

“That is a scandal, and he should at least not have been allowed to appear in the World Championships.”

Sky said Froome had to take an increased dosage of salbutamol without exceeding the permissible dose after experiencing “acute asthma symptoms” during the final week of the Vuelta.

Froome defended himself in an interview with Sky, the broadcaster that owns his cycling team.

“I am being tested every single day of the race that I am in the leader’s jersey, I knew I was being tested,” Froome said. 

“We also have a wealth of information from within the team of what I ate every single day, how many times I have stopped to pee every day. The detail of the information that we have been able to provide is vast.”

The UCI have yet to comment about its actions, which Martin denounced as a “major blow to the difficult anti-doping fight.”

Meanwhile, the UCI has banned Italian cyclist Nicola Ruffoni for four years for a doping offence.

Ruffoni’s positive test for a growth hormone-releasing peptide during training was announced on the eve of the Giro d’Italia in May.

The 26-year-old rider and teammate Stefano Pirazzi, who also tested positive for a GHRP, were fired by Italian team Bardiani CSF.

The UCI previously banned Pirazzi for four years.


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