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  • Chris Froome's coach blames media for salbutamol case backlash

    Chris Froome's coach, Tim Kerrison, has blamed the media for the growing backlash over the Briton's Adverse Analytical Finding (AFF) for salbutamol, saying that his case has been sensationalised, mainly by the French press, ahead of the Tour de France that is set to begin on July 7 in the Vendée region.

    "If things are presented in a way that incites or sensationalises, or fuels anger or resentment towards Chris, then I don't think that's very responsible," Kerrison said in an interview with The Guardian. "I think fair treatment in the media is a responsible requirement to ensure the riders' safety."

    Froome returned a positive test for salbutamol following an anti-doping control test that took place September 7 following stage 18 of the Vuelta a España last year, a race he went on to win. His urine sample contained 2,000ng/ml of salbutamol, twice the permissible limit. As salbutamol is classed as a specified substance, Froome is free to compete until the case is resolved, and he has denied any wrongdoing.


    Froome hired London-based lawyer Mike Morgan as part of his defence team, but continues to race, sub judice. In May, Froome went on to win the Giro d'Italia, which sparked further controversy, and he intends to start the Tour de France with a goal of winning a fifth overall title. However, Kerrison suggested that the doubt over Froome's pending case has been unfounded.

    "I'm very confident that he is innocent," he said. "There have never been any question marks for me."

    But on Wednesday, Bernard Hinault called for the peloton to go on strike if Froome takes part in the Tour de France, telling Ouest France, "The peloton should put its foot down and go on strike saying: 'If he's at the start, we're not starting!'"

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