British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington has criticised the leaking of Chris Froome’s Adverse Analytical Finding for salbutamol, believing it has damaged the reputations of Froome, British Cycling and the sport in general. She confirmed that Froome remains eligible for selection for the Great Britain national team until a verdict is reached.
Froome returned an AAF for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a España, with twice the permitted level of the asthma drug found in his urine in a post-stage 18 test. Given salbutamol is a ‘specified’ substance, Froome – who denies exceeding the permitted dosage – has not been provisionally suspended, but must prove that his sample could have been skewed by other factors, such as dehydration and the proximity of his salbutamol dose to his test.
News of Froome’s AAF emerged thanks to an investigation by newspapers The Guardian and Le Monde, with Team Sky and the UCI quickly confirming the news. Despite being sportingly sub-judice, Froome announced he will target the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2018. He is reportedly being paid €1.4 million to take part in the Giro.
However, a drawn out legal process and eventual ban could derail those ambitions and see him lose any success and prize money.
“The issue in this case is that the process was leaked, and while somebody is trying to prove either way why they had that adverse analytical finding it’s being debated in the court of public opinion,” Harrington argued.
“That’s a blow to cycling’s reputation, the individual athlete’s reputation. You only need to look at Twitter feeds and the comments below articles and people will make up their own mind based on not having the full evidence, which is a shame.
Available for Great Britain selection
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