Froome: "No one wants this resolved quicker than I do"
The five-time Grand Tour winner makes his return to action at the Vuelta a Andalucía and said of his drugs test controversy: "I know that I haven't done anything wrong."
Chris Froome has reiterated his wish for a speedy end to the case regarding his drugs test controversy, insisting "no one wants this resolved more quickly than I do."
Froome returns to action at the Ruta del Sol this week but his presence at the event has been the subject of much debate, the four-time Tour de France champion having provided a urine sample during his successful Vuelta a Espana campaign last year which revealed twice the permitted amount of the asthma drug salbutamol in his system.
As salbutamol is not a prohibited substance, Froome's results did not trigger an automatic suspension. However, the Briton will be subject to a ban if he and Team Sky are unable to give a legitimate physiological explanation for the finding.
UCI president David Lappartient has called for Froome to recuse himself from racing until the case is settled.
But speaking ahead of the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol on Wednesday, Froome said: "We're in the middle of that process now and there is a process in place for me to demonstrate that I haven't done anything wrong.
"I know that I haven't done anything wrong and that's what I intend to do, to show that. No one wants this resolved more quickly than I do.
About to head to Ruta del Sol.— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) February 13, 2018
I want to thank everyone for their support & patience over this difficult period. I am doing my utmost to ensure that things are resolved as speedily as possible.
Can’t wait to get this season started!! #64RdS pic.twitter.com/tcyNKUTOIj
"I think there's a lot of misinformation out there and also a lot of people out there who don't necessarily understand the process that's in place.
"Obviously it was meant to have been a confidential process. It has been made public now but also a lot of other athletes and riders have been through this process themselves. I'm not asking for the benefit of the doubt here, I'm just asking for a fair process.
"I do believe that when all the facts are out there, I think people will see it from my point of view."
Preparing for the new season with the case hanging over him has been difficult for Froome, but he is still targeting a Giro d'Italia-Tour double in 2018.
"For sure it's been tough. It's been tough on everyone," he added. "It's been tough but I've been really enjoying riding my bike. I've been putting in big hours over the winter preparing for the season ahead. Obviously I've got quite ambitious goals this year to go to the Giro and the Tour to do as best I can in both of those events."
Asked if he would still make the start of the Giro in Israel on May 4 were his case not to be resolved, Froome replied: "I'm not going to speculate at this time on the outcome of what's going to happen.
"As it stands, I'm as focused as ever on the season ahead and I'll look to be in my best shape for the start of the Giro."
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