Froome’s salbutamol case, The Secret Pro’s reaction: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

December 14, 2017

Chris Froome urine test reveals twice the legal amount of Salbutamol; Nibali on Froome salbutamol case: No one can give me back the thrill of winning the Vuelta; Vuelta a España expresses ‘extreme caution’ about Froome situation; The Secret Pro: My thoughts on Froome’s positive and the bikes we ride; Tucker analyses Froome case; INRNG on what comes next for Froome; Podcast: Chris Froome’s positive; Ewan confirmed for Tour de France debut in 2018; Stig Broeckx pushes through rehab; Aqua Blue reveals 2018 kit

Tucker analyses Froome case

by CyclingTips

Ross Tucker is the author of the Science of Sport website and also a sport scientist. He has been known for questioning Team Sky and Chris Froome, and wrote a long and interesting post after Wednesday’s big news broke.

Here’s an excerpt:

At the time, WADA’s decision to classify salbutamol as a “threshold drug” (rather than being completely banned unless a TUE is obtained) was not entirely uncontroversial. Here’s one quote, which I think you’ll find is relevant as we explore the Froome situation further:

‘Michel Rieu, scientist at the French Anti-Doping Agency, [said that] salbutamol should remain banned in any concentration. Rieu said to L’Equipe that in order to reach the 1000 ng/ml threshold, “you really have to mess things up and not follow classic doping protocol. Those who cheat use salbutamol as a cure, out of competition, and are careful not to reach these kind of concentrations during competition.”

So, all of that history brings us to Chris Froome, whose urine contains levels that exceed the threshold by 100%. 2000 ng/ml vs 1000 ng/ml. Twice as high. That’s a big miss. Like going out to buy a TV with a budget of $1000 and coming home with an 84 inch flat screen and surround sound speakers. It would take some pretty remarkable adjustments in dosage, or (possibly normal, mind) pharmacology, to clear the bar by that amount.

The first thing I read in response to this story was the following quote by Froome: “My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

So with “the greatest care”, Froome and a doctor, working together, with years of experience using this very same drug in stage races, managed to miss the mark by 100%? They missed the upper allowable limit by a factor of 2?

See the full analysis here.