Christopher Froome: consequences and similar cases of doping

The cyclist could lose his title from 'Vuelta España 2017'

Christopher Froome

Leer en Español: Christopher Froome: consecuencias y casos similares de dopaje

Christopher Froome, who has been the leader in the last few years in cycling and four times winner of the tour of France, is going through one of the most complicated stages that can face a cyclist. However, this time it is off the road. The UCI has accused Froome of excess salbutamol, a substance used for the treatment of bronchospasm in conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Salbutamol acts by instantly dilating the airways which facilitates breathing.

The international federation UCI announced in a press release that it had notified "the British runner Christopher Froome an Abnormal Analysis Result (RAA) owing to the presence of salbutamol in a concentration higher than 1000ng / ml." In the case of Froome, the record is 2,000 nanograms.

"Today, cycling has received brutal news, if it is confirmed, nobody will be able to give me the chance to climb to the top of the podium in Madrid, the time will give the most opportune response," said Viscenzo Nibali, Italian legend of cycling, second in the ‘Vuelta España 2017’. He also questioned the fact that Froome had asthma, given that in those days it was raining in Spain. "I have the same problem, but when it rains it does not bother me and I do not use medication" the portal Tuttobiciweb attributed him.

On 2008 Alessandro Petacchi was sanctioned for a year for a rate of 1,360ng/ml. Also, Diego Ulissi received in 2014 a punishment of nine months for 1,900 ng / ml. In this case, the sanction could be greater.

The British champion could lose his victory in the ‘Vuelta España 2017’. Thus, the winner in this case would be the Italian Viscenzo Nibali, runner-up. Lance Armstrong, recognized by the UCI for using "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping system that sport has ever seen", lost seven victories in the Tour de France. However, in his case, those who were runners-up were also involved in cases of doping. As a consequence, the international organization preferred that the winners were deserted. The Swiss Alex Zülle (1999), the Spaniard Joseba Beloki (2002), the Italian Ivan Basso (2005) and the Germans Jan Ullrich (2000, 2001 and 2003) and Andreas Klöden (2004) were the runners who occupied the second step of the podium on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Previously, the UCI also accused Alberto Contador of doping. He is another great cyclist who retired in this same edition of the ‘Vuelta España 2017’. The sports arbitration court (TAS) stripped him of the Tour de France 2010 and the Tour of Italy 2011 for a urine sample contaminated with clenbuterol. Contador said that the fifty picograms of clenbuterol found were due to food contamination because of a beef sirloin.

Froome will be obliged to respond convincingly to the quantitative data presented by the UCI. The production of the sanction would be a real dilemma in the line of cycling in general, which would plunge back into the dirty waters of doping.

LatinAmerican Post | Helber Fernando Rojas

Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza

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