UCI drops doping case against Chris Froome

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Chris Froome is now clear to race the 2018 Tour de France after the UCI dropped its investigation into misuse of salbutamol saying there was "no case to answer".

Only hours earlier, it was reported that the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) was seeking to ban Froome from this year's tour over the unresolved case. 

"Grateful and relieved to finally put this chapter behind me, it has been an emotional 9 months. Thank you to all of those who have supported and believed in me throughout," Froome said in a tweet this morning. 

Last night (Sunday) the ASO was all set to attempt to blackball Froome from competing, with Team Sky said to be preparing an appeal. 

The ASO move preempted any hearing that would have sought to determine Froome's guilt and was believed to focus around protecting the Tour's image. Froome won the Giro d'Italia under a cloud of suspicion over his adverse Salbutamol sample taken during the 2017 Vuelta. 

The ASO had blocked Team Sky’s registration of Froome, according to Le Monde. It referenced article 29 of its 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”.

This morning's UCI statement finally clarifies the position and exonerates Froome. 

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“The UCI has considered all the relevant evidence in detail (in consultation with its own experts and experts from Wada),” read the statement. “On 28 June 2018, Wada informed the UCI that it would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome’s sample results do not constitute an AAF.

“In light of Wada’s unparalleled access to information and authorship of the salbutamol regime, the UCI has decided, based on Wada’s position, to close the proceedings against Mr Froome.

Image: Froome ended up dumping his bike and running up Mont Ventoux after a crash on the 2016 Tour de France