Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Tour de France Winner Chris Froome Failed Doping Test

Tour de France Winner Chris Froome Failed Doping Test

It is typically taken via an inhaler.

Why does Froome take it?

. The doping control sample provided by Froome on September 7 had values double this amount.

Froome, who has asthma, said in a statement that his symptoms got worse during the Spanish road race and he upped his dosage, but claims that he stayed within the guidelines.

Salbutamol is a drug that helps expand lung capacity and can be used as a performance-enhancing drug to increase endurance. "This is not a positive test", Froome said in an interview aired by British broadcasters on Wednesday.

The maximum permissible dosage is 16 puffs of salbutamol from an inhaler in a 24-hour period, The Guardian reported.

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"Analysis indicated the presence of salbutamol at a concentration of 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), compared with the WADA threshold of 1,000 ng/ml", Team Sky said.

Team Sky has been dominating the field at the Tour de France in recent years, but has been targeted by doping accusations.

So has he actually failed a drug test?

. The distinction is important.

He acknowledged that news of the test result had come as "a big shock to a lot of people" - and that he understood the reaction "given the history of the sport" - but dismissed the idea that his legacy had been tainted.

So what is Salbutamol and how can it affect an athlete?

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Chris Froome was been asked to explain why he provided a urine sample result with twice the allowed limit of Salbutamol, a drug used to treat asthma, during this year's Vuelta a Espana that could lead to a lengthy ban if the four-time Tour de France victor is unable to give an sufficient explanation.

Team Sky, Froome's team, suggested that the drug could metabolize in unusual ways, resulting in elevated levels. That means Froome is allowed to compete until his case, which has been ongoing since 20 September, is resolved. The Swiss-based body added that under its rules Froome is not subject to a mandatory suspension. If it accepts his explanation, Froome will be cleared.

If unable to prove his innocence, Froome will lose his 2017 Vuelta title, and be handed a significant ban from the sport, which could translate to him been suspended for the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2018. He has repeatedly faced questions on whether he is a clean rider, especially during the Tour de France, and has always denied wrongdoing.

Leonardo Piepoli returned a sample with an even higher concentration of the drug than his compatriot Petacchi on the same day but was not banned as he was registered in Monaco, whose cycling authorities chose not to pursue the matter.

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