Tour de France 2018: Chris Froome ‘banned’ by organisers in bid to limit ‘damage to the image’ of the race

Team Sky are understood to have appealed the decision after the ASO took measures to prevent the four-time Tour de France winner from competing in this month’s event

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 02 July 2018 07:43 BST
How Chris Froome won his fourth Tour de France

The Tour de France has moved to bar Chris Froome from competing in the race, with a hearing on Tuesday set to determine whether the decision should be upheld.

The race organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is determined to protect the Tour’s image from the potentially damaging scenario which occurred in the Giro d’Italia which Froome won under the cloud of his adverse sample during the 2017 Vuelta, the case for which is yet to be heard.

ASO has blocked Team Sky’s registration of Froome, according to Le Monde, pointing to article 29 of its own rules which states it “reserves the right to refuse the participation in – or disqualify from – the event, a team or one of its members whose presence is liable to damage the image or reputation of ASO or those of the event”.

Team Sky has appealed the decision and the case will now be heard in the court of arbitration of the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) on Tuesday, four days before the race’s start on Saturday 7 July.

Froome was found to have double the permitted level of the asthma drug Salbutamol in his system when tested after stage 18 of his Vuelta triumph last September. Salbutamol is a specified substance rather than a prohibited one, meaning Froome was allowed the chance explain the test result and continue racing in the meantime.

Froome and Team Sky have denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation into Chris Froome’s adverse drugs test is ongoing (Getty)

He has assembled an expensive legal team to present his case but is yet to propose a date for any hearing, and continues to insist that he is desperate for the affair to be resolved as soon as possible. He has faced criticism from some fellow and former riders, suggesting he should step aside from competing while the case remains unresolved.

ASO has not commented, but a Team Sky spokesman insisted: “We are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong.”

Froome’s wife Michelle, who also represents the cyclist, added: ”Chris will ride the Tour.”

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