Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Michelle Froome: 'Chris will ride in Tour de France'

Tour de France's director Christian Prudhomme looks on prior to the start the 178 km twelfth stage of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France Tour de France's director Christian Prudhomme looks on prior to the start the 178 km twelfth stage of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France
Cary Erickson | 02 July, 2018, 06:15

Team Sky responded with a statement saying his comments were "irresponsible and ill-informed".

Froome is engulfed in a storm surrounding asthma medication salbutamol after returning an adverse urine sample at last year's La Vuelta, which showed he had double the permitted level after Stage 18.

ASO has blocked Team Sky's registration of Froome, according to Le Monde, pointing to article 29 of its own rules which states it "reserves the right to refuse the participation in - or disqualify from - the event, a team or one of its members whose presence is liable to damage the image or reputation of ASO or those of the event".

Only last month, Sky became embroiled in a public dispute with French cycling legend Bernard Hinault, something that is unlikely to endear Froome and Team Sky to the millions lining the Tour route if he does race.

World Anti-Doping Agency rules have allowed him to continue racing until the investigation is over.

The decision is meant to protect the image of the race because the British rider is at the centre of an ongoing doping case.

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Team Sky have already appealed the decision, per the report, with a final outcome expected on Wednesday - just three days before the race starts in Briancon on Saturday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Team Sky said: "We are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong".

In 2009, Belgian rider Tom Boonen, a major name in the sport, was excluded having tested positive for cocaine, which ASO said was harmful to their image - the same argument it is using with Froome.

The Briton, a four-time Tour de France champion, has continued to compete and won this year's Giro d'Italia.

On Friday, however, race director Christophe Prudhomme expressed the frustration of ASO.