BARDET: FROOME SHOULD NOT RACE UNTIL INVESTIGATION IS OVER

Two time Tour de France podium finisher Romain Bardet has asked Chris Froome not to race until the investigations into him are over. The star cyclist failed drugs tests for an asthma medication during the Tour of Spain.

The four time Tour de France winner, who is gunning for his fifth this year, has denied any wrong doing. He stands to lose his Vuelta a Espana title if found guilty. His urine test last September showed levels of Salbutamol that was over the limit.

Bardet told L’Equipe: “I can’t really see how Froome can race as if nothing was going on. Since Team Sky are doing nothing, nothing prevents their rider from taking a step back until there is a decision from the authorities.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) permits Salbutamol as a legal asthma drug and the Union Cyclists Internationale (UCI) said the result of the test does not necessitate the mandatory provisional suspension. The sample analysis showed that Froome’s concentration of 2000 nanograms per mililitre (ng/ml) was twice the WADA limit.

Alessandro Petacchi is one of the notable riders that have been banned in the past for excessive use of the drug. He was given a year suspension and stripped of his five stage victories in the 2007 Giro d’Italia.

Bardet does not think Froome will be cleared of the allegations so he hopes the UCI makes a decision on the matter before the beginning of the next Tour de France. He said if the union fails to do so it would be “catastrophic for the image of the race and the image of cycling.”

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