(Reuters) - Britain’s Chris Froome says he is not even contemplating missing the Tour de France and is confident the investigation into his adverse doping test at last year’s Vuelta a Espana will clear him of wrongdoing.
The four-times Tour de France winner is fighting to clear his name after a test at the Vuelta revealed him to have double the permitted limit of the asthma medication Salbutamol in his system.
He has denied any wrongdoing and is free to race as he is not suspended.
If found guilty of doping, however, he will almost certainly face the prospect of a lengthy ban.
“That’s certainly not something that I’m coming into this race even thinking of,” he told reporters at a Team Sky news conference ahead of the Giro d’Italia.
“I’m not going to entertain that idea. I will be in the Tour.”
Froome, who has not ridden in the Giro since 2010 and is attempting to win the gruelling road race for the first time, said he had the right to continue racing and was convinced other riders would see things from his perspective.
“I obviously know I’ve done nothing wrong. There’s nothing that says I shouldn’t be racing,” he said.
“Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. That’s perfectly understandable and I can understand a lot of people are frustrated as well at the lack of information.
“But this is a process that was meant to have been confidential and I’m confident that people will see it from my point of view.”
The 32-year-old is aiming to become the first rider to complete the Giro/Tour double since Italian Marco Pantani achieved the feat in 1998.
(This version of the story removes extraneous ‘be’ from quotes in para 10)
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis