PARIS (AP) — Le Monde newspaper says Tour de France organizers have forbidden four-time champion Chris Froome from taking part in this year’s race.
According to the newspaper, Amaury Sport Organisation have informed Team Sky they don’t want Froome to be on the starting line in order to protect the image of the race because the British rider is at the center of an ongoing doping case.
Le Monde says Team Sky has already lodged an appeal to the court of arbitration of the French Olympic Committee, which will debate the case on Tuesday and is expected to issue a decision on the following day.
ASO did not comment on the report. Le Monde quoted a Team Sky spokesman saying “we are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong.”
The Tour de France starts next Saturday in the western Vendee region.
Froome has been racing under the cloud of a potential ban after a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol that was twice the permitted level. Froome’s use of asthma medication has been well documented, and the Kenyan-born rider has often been spotted using inhalers during races.
An athlete can be cleared for excessive salbutamol use if he proves that it was due to an appropriate therapeutic dosage.
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