UCI asks Team Sky and Chris Froome to explain elevated levels of Salbutamol in system
Last Updated: 13/12/17 4:41pm
Team Sky have confirmed the UCI has asked for an explanation about elevated levels of Salbutamol in Chris Froome's urine during the Vuelta a Espana.
The team issued a statement on Wednesday morning confirming that a urine test taken on September 7, after stage 18 of the Vuelta, revealed a concentration of Salbutamol above World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
Froome, according to the statement, experienced "acute asthma symptoms" during the final week of the year's final grand tour, which he won to add to his earlier Tour de France victory, and increased his dosage of Salbutamol on the advice of Team Sky doctors.
The Team Sky statement further read: "The notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken.
"The finding triggers requests from the UCI which are aimed at establishing what caused the elevated concentration of Salbutamol and to ensure that no more than the permissible doses of Salbutamol were inhaled.
"There is considerable evidence to show that there are significant and unpredictable variations in the way Salbutamol is metabolised and excreted.
"As a result, the use of permissible dosages of Salbutamol can sometimes result in elevated urinary concentrations, which require explanation. A wide range of factors can affect the concentrations, including the interaction of Salbutamol with food or other medications, dehydration and the timing of Salbutamol usage before the test.
Froome said: "It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are. I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader's jersey.
"My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor's advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.
"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."
Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford added: "There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of Salbutamol. We're committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion.
"I have the utmost confidence that Chris followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for Salbutamol. Of course, we will do whatever we can to help address these questions."