Cycling: Chris Froome cleared of doping charges


The UCI, cycling's world governing body, has announced on Monday that the anti-doping case against British rider Chris Froome was dropped as they no longer suspected any wrongdoing. The 33-year-old four-time Tour de France winner was under investigation after ore than the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol was found in his urine during last year's Tour of Spain, which he also won. The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) worked closely with the UCI on this case and eventually recommended the case is dropped.

Chris Froome was in danger of being excluded from the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday, as organizers believed his participation would damage the reputation of the race. "It has been an emotional nine months," Froome said. "Thank you to all of those who have supported and believed in me throughout. I meant it when I said that I would never dishonour a winner's jersey and that my results would stand the test of time. I have never doubted that this case would be dismissed for the simple reason that I have known throughout I did nothing wrong."

Despite the UCI decision, the British rider expects some nasty reactions from French fans on the road. "We've raced under trying circumstances at the Tour for the last six years," Froome said. "There is always some kind of confrontation out on the road but it's always a minority and it's just something you have to deal with." The Team Sky leader had urine thrown at him by a spectator during the 2015 Tour de France and last year he was booed by fans while passing through French rider Romain Bardet's home region.

Chris Froome has won the Giro d'Italia this year and he is 11/8 at Bet365 to win the Tour de France as well, becoming the first rider since Marco Pantani to do the Giro-Tour double in the same year.

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