Chris Froome could lose his historic Vuelta a Espana 2017 triumph and be hit with a lengthy ban after returning an adverse analytical finding for the legal asthma drug Salbutamol during the race.
Though Salbutamol is permitted to an extent without the need for a therapeutic use exemption, Froome’s in-competition test following stage 18 of the race returned a reading twice the allowed limit of 1,000ng/ml.
Froome – as race leader – was required to give a sample after every stage, and no other test required further analysis, and Team Sky insist his inhaler use was within the prescribed limits. Due to the findings, however, the UCI has requested further information – with Team Sky insisting they have the documentation to prove no rules were broken.
Froome is also not currently suspended, but could lose his Vuelta a Espana title and face a suspension which would derail his planned Giro-Tour double bid in 2017.