Chris Froome (Team Sky) risks being stripped of his Vuelta a España title due to his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol following stage 18 of this year’s race, but in a statement on Wednesday morning, the Vuelta organisation said that it had yet to receive formal notification of the matter.
Froome sealed a Tour de France-Vuelta a España double in September after leading the race for 18 of its 21 stages. The Briton surprisingly emerged as a belated Grand Tour contender by placing second at the Vuelta in 2011, and went on to place on the podium in 2014 and 2016 before landing victory this year.
“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,” Unipublic said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
“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 returned an adverse analytical finding for twice the permissible dose of salbutamol on September 7 following stage 18 to Alto de Santo Toribio de Liébana, where he put 21 seconds on his closest rival Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
Froome and Team Sky was notified of the finding on September 20, the day he finished third in the elite men’s time trial at the UCI World Championships in Bergen. The result was later confirmed by analysis of the B-Sample.
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