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by Shane Stokes
December 19, 2017
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Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has expressed scepticism about Chris Froome’s claims of innocence over his excessive levels of salbutamol, saying that he believes the Briton’s career might be at an end.
Speaking to Ouest France, Hinault said that he previously trusted Froome. “But hey, it’s like that,” he said sceptically. “Once again … We can not trust anyone anymore. Until then, there was no problem, he had not tested positive on the Tour, and now [this happens]… Again, this sport takes a hit because of such nonsense.”
Froome was tested after stage 18 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana. The analysis of that control later showed that the sample contained 2,000 nanograms per millilitre of salbutamol, double the permitted maximum set by WADA. Froome has claimed that he didn’t break the rules and that he will prove his innocence.
Hinault isn’t impressed. “One thing is certain: we must stop with the Ventolin [an inhaler based on salbutamol] and all that stuff! As luck would have it, in the bike they are all asthmatic! I think that from the moment you need that to ride, well you do not ride! When things go wrong, when it gets worse, you stop everything. He took more than the authorized dose, that sucks … And say it afterwards, to find excuses, it’s a little easy … It’s too late.”
Asked if he believed that Froome could miss next year’s Tour de France, Hinault said that it was not for him to judge that point. “But anyway, after the Armstrong case, I thought everyone understood, but no,” he continued. “He should have been careful, not doing anything, not taking a double dose … He had won four Tours de France and there was never anything abnormal. Now basta! His career may be over.”
Click through to read more at Ouest France.