Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Froome blasts ‘misinformation’ in doping case on return to racing



Froome blasts ‘misinformation’ in doping case on return to racing

Chris Froome talks to the media prior to the first stage of the Ruta del Sol tour on Wednesday. AFP
Chris Froome talks to the media prior to the first stage of the Ruta del Sol tour on Wednesday. AFP

Froome blasts ‘misinformation’ in doping case on return to racing

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.

Despite the controversy, he was afforded a warm welcome by fans in Mijas, while the local mayor even posed for photographs with him.

Froome, who won the race on his last appearance in 2015, finished in the peloton in the 197.6km first stage from the Mediterranean coast to Granada. The stage was won by Frenchman Thomas Boudat, a former omnium world champion on the track.

“It was really touching to see other riders come up in person and offer their support,” Froome said after the stage.

“This is the first time since all this happened that I have seen the guys. It was great to catch up and amazing to see the support.”

Cycling’s international governing body the UCI is yet to make a ruling on Froome’s test, which was given at last year’s Vuelta a Espana, a race he 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 32-year-old Briton.

“It’s been a difficult period now. These are not normal circumstances.

“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.”

He’ll be fine

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.

If he succeeds in clearing his name, this race could prove an important stepping stone for success on the road later in the season.

“Chris Froome is our leader,” said his Dutch teammate Dylan van Baarle on Tuesday.

“He did a lot of good training in South Africa. We’ll see how he gets on during the race but I think he’ll be fine.”

Froome needs miles in his legs to prepare for his bigger objectives: the Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 4, and the Tour de France, starting July 7, where he would be chasing a record-equalling fifth victory.

On the other hand, if he is later banned then he would be retrospectively disqualified, meaning he could be distorting the competitive balance of the Ruta by riding..

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Molnupiravir treatments available at Cambodia Post

    The working group overseeing the management, distribution and supply of strategic drugs in the fight against Covid-19 at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has begun distributing 200mg molnupiravir capsules with the brand name Molnatris at all branches of its Cambodia Post from January 19 in