• Froome on Stage 18 of the Vuelta, the stage that he returned a positive test for Salbutamol (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has confirmed the Adverse Analytical Finding against Chris Froome from Stage 18 of his recent victorious Vuelta a Espana campaign.
Cycling Central

14 Dec 2017 - 7:07 AM  UPDATED 14 Dec 2017 - 9:12 AM

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) delivered an Adverse Analytical Finding for the presence of over two times the legal limit of salbutamol in his urine during his recent victory at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana.

In a statement released by the UCI, the peak organising body of cycling confirmed the results found by the analysis of the 'A' and 'B' samples, and stated the process that it would follow in respect to the positive tests.

"The Union Cycliste Internationale confirms that British rider Christopher Froome was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of Salbutamol in excess of 1000ng/ml (*) in a sample collected during the Vuelta a España on 7 September 2017. The rider was notified of the AAF on 20 September 2017.

"The anti-doping control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

"The analysis of the B sample has confirmed the results of the rider’s A sample and the proceedings are being conducted in line with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

"As a matter of principle, and whilst not required by the World Anti-Doping Code, the UCI systematically reports potential anti-doping rule violations via its website when a mandatory provisional suspension applies. Pursuant to Article 7.9.1. of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the presence of a Specified Substance such as Salbutamol in a sample does not result in the imposition of such mandatory provisional suspension against the rider."

Froome faces questions over salbutamol levels at Vuelta a España
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome's Vuelta a España title from earlier this year is in doubt after an abnormal drug test result.

The organisers of the Vuelta, Unipublic, also released a statement supporting the UCI's process.

"Regarding today’s news about Christopher Froome’s unfavourable test result during La Vuelta 2017, Unipublic, the organiser of La Vuelta, wishes to communicate that it will await the UCI’s official conclusions. The regulatory entity has launched an investigation and the position of La Vuelta’s organiser is one of extreme caution, as it hopes for this issue to be resolved as quickly as possible."

Froome released his own statement on the matter through Team Sky, stating that he was taking Salbutamol for his asthma. An attack had brought upon an increase in the dosage, but he thought he had remained within the prescribed limits and not required a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

"As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose," Froome said.

"I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires."

Salbutamol is permitted by WADA rules, without the need for a therapeutic use exemption, when inhaled up to a limit of 1,600 micrograms over a period of 24 hours and no more than 800 over 12 hours.

Sky said analysis of Froome's sample showed the presence of Salbutamol at a concentration of 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), compared with the WADA threshold of 1,000ng/ml.

It said none of the 20 other urine tests taken by the rider had required any further explanation.