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by Shane Stokes
January 17, 2018
Greipel back to his winning ways on stage 1 of the Tour Down Under; Report: Froome’s defence to be based on malfunctioning kidneys argument; Bardet wants Froome to take a voluntary suspension while salbutamol case is progressing; UCI challenges Lotto-Soudal’s claims that Lambrecht was treated unfairly; Brussels Grand Départ announced for 2019 Tour de France; Landis predicts Froome case could spell end for Team Sky; USA Cycling announces squad for UCI cyclocross world championships; 100 years of the yellow jersey…but Froome is omitted; Video: Halvorsen talks about planned recovery from wrist fracture; Video: Cavendish interviewed by Irish amateurs on training ride
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Tuesday that Chris Froome’s legal defence in his salbutamol case will be based on an argument that his kidneys temporarily stopped working properly prior to his adverse analytical finding.
According to L’Equipe, Froome’s expert team have ruled out using dehydration or external factors as the reason for him having double the permitted maximum level of salbutamol in his system. Instead, they are set to suggest that his kidneys temporarily stopped working properly and accumulated high levels of salbutamol.
The claim will be that they then returned to proper function, releasing the substance into his urine and thus triggering the positive test. The newspaper has said that this argument is yet to be presented to the UCI’s Legal Anti-Doping Services, but that the latter has lined up its own kidney specialist to deal with such a claim. Were the LADS to accept this, the World Anti-Doping Agency and/or the UK Anti Doping Agency could appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Under WADA’s rules, the maximum penalty for a positive test for a specified substance is one year. If Froome is not successful in his defence, he could face a ban from the sport as well as the loss of his Vuelta a España title. He has not accepted a voluntary provisional suspension, meaning that a ban would in theory not be backdated.
Froome is hoping to try to win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this season. He confirmed his attendance at the Italian event despite knowing that the salbutamol case was brewing. Details of that case were subsequently leaked to The Guardian and Le Monde.