In an 18-month period Sky Cycling team have yet another scandal to endure as reports surfaced that British Cycling great and this year’s winner of the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana Chris Froome has had his unprecedented season rocked after failing a drugs test.
The urine test which was administered on September 7th after Froome had completed stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana showed the presence of the Asthma Drug Salbutamol. The drug is a staple of all Asthma Suffers Froome included and although not a banned substance, there is a legal limit which is allowed, However Froome’s sample tested positive for twice that limit and unless he can give a satisfactory reason to explain the high content he risks losing his Vuelta a Espana title and the prospect of a large ban from the sport.
Following the past headlines regarding some of the sports former stars and their methods of gaining an advantage the assumption by the many will be that Froome has placed himself in that category, although if that was the case it would be an extremely amateurish and useless way of cheating, since Salbutamol is a widely available drug used by young Children and adults alike as a ‘Performance enabler’ not a performance enhancer. Repeated studies have shown ‘negligible’ effect or benefit to athletes who don’t suffer from Asthma, it does not allow asthmatics any other benefit other than allowing them to participate in the activities alongside those who don’t suffer from Asthma.
Froomes next course of action, will likely be an attempt to prove his innocence, one way that could be achieved is by a study done in 2014 by Dr John Dickinson that during a case study into the effects of Salbutamol, that out of 34 people tested 20 showed concentrations of the drug to be higher than Wada limitations when the body is dehydrated by more than 2% of that person’s body weight.
So far it is believed that Froome and the Sky cycling team have known about the result for the past two months and have a hard battle in front of them to restore their Golden Boys tarnished reputation.