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'It means we can all move on': Team Sky and Froome react to UCI verdict

Joe Robinson
2 Jul 2018

Brailsford and Froome speak out on UCI decision to clear rider of any wrongdoing ahead of Tour de France

Team Sky have reacted to the UCI decision to close the investigation into Chris Froome's adverse analytical finding for salbutamol with the rider himself stating that, 'it means we can all move on and focus on the Tour de France.'

In an extended statement from both Froome and team manager Dave Brailsford on the Team Sky website, both welcomed the UCI's decision to clear Froome of any wrongdoing, clearing the path for him to defend his Tour title and securing his 2017 Vuelta a Espana and 2018 Giro d'Italia wins.

The UCI confirmed this morning that it would be closing investigations into the Froome salbutamol issue stating that 'it would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome’s sample results do not constitute an AAF' therefore closing investigations. 

Froome reacted to this decision in a statement that read, 'I am very pleased that the UCI has exonerated me. While this decision is obviously a big deal for me and the team, it’s also an important moment for cycling.

'I have never doubted that this case would be dismissed for the simple reason that I have known throughout I did nothing wrong.

'I have suffered with asthma since childhood. I know exactly what the rules are regarding my asthma medication and I only ever use my puffer to manage my symptoms within the permissible limits.'

He then went on to address the fact that the test results from the Vuelta did not remain confidential - with them being leaked to Le Monde and The Guardian - before expressing his relief at the proceedings being closed.

'Of course, the UCI had to examine these test results from the Vuelta,' Froome said. 'Unfortunately, the details of the case did not remain confidential, as they should have done. And I appreciate more than anyone else the frustration at how long the case has taken to resolve and the uncertainty this has caused. I am glad it’s finally over.

'I am grateful for all the support I have had from the Team and from many fans across the world. Today’s ruling draws a line. It means we can all move on and focus on the Tour de France.'

Brailsford also addressed the situation focusing on the reason as to why Froome was acquitted. 

'Chris’s elevated Salbutamol urine reading from Stage 18 of the Vuelta was treated as a "presumed" Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) by the UCI and WADA, which triggered a requirement for us to provide further information,' the team manager said.

'After a comprehensive review of that information, relevant data and scientific research, the UCI and WADA have concluded that there was, in fact, no AAF and that no rule has been broken.'

Brailsford also stated that 'the level of Salbutamol in a single urine sample, alone, is not a reliable indicator of the amount inhaled,' meaning that, 'a review of all Chris’s 21 test results from the Vuelta revealed that the Stage 18 result was within his expected range of variation and therefore consistent with him having taken a permitted dose of Salbutamol.'

Brailsford concluded his statement by saying, 'the greatest bike race in the world starts in five days. We can’t wait to get racing again and help Chris win it for a record-equalling fifth time.'

Froome will now look towards the defence of his Tour de France title that begins in Noirmoutier this Saturday. The 33-year-old will attempt to become the fifth rider in history to win five yellow jerseys.

He will also attempt to become the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to take the Giro-Tour double.