June 28, 2018 / 3:40 AM / 5 months ago

Froome determined to defend Tour de France title

Cycling - Giro d'Italia, Rome, Italy - May 27, 2018 Team Sky's Chris Froome celebrates after winning the Giro d'Italia REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

(Reuters) - Four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he “has every right” to defend his title next month as he awaits a decision over an adverse doping test.

The Team Sky rider tested positive for excessive levels of asthma drug Salbutamol following a urine sample at last September’s Vuelta a Espana but is confident of being cleared via an investigation.

“I have done nothing wrong here. I have every right to be racing,” the 33-year-old told Sky Sports.

The Briton was criticised last week by five-times Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault, who called on riders to go on a strike if Froome competed at this year’s race.

When asked if he was worried about the reception he will get in France, Froome said: “Over the years, we have always had a small crowd who aren’t happy to see us, for whatever reason.

“We have always come up against adversity over the years. That is something you deal with in the moment. Hopefully that doesn’t interfere with the race.”

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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