Critics and even fellow workers continue to mince no words in the case of chris froome. Marcel kittel spoke of a "super disaster" for cycling, but remained more moderate in tone than his teammate tony martin the day before.
The top sprinter hopes, the last five-time stage winner of the tour de france wrote on his facebook page, "that chris can clarify the situation plausibly and quickly. This right is granted to him in this specific case. But one thing is clear: every day of uncertainty is a bad day for cycling."
The four-time tour winner was caught in a control at the tour of spain on 7. September found with 2000 nanograms of salbutamol in his urine. The ingestion of the drug for asthma – to which the 32-year-old briton and his sky team had referred – is permitted up to a limit of 1,000 nanograms per milliliter. Froome, who is being represented by a top lawyer, has not been suspended in advance under the rules of the world governing body UCI.
But he must explain why the limit was significantly exceeded. For months, lawyers and scientists have been working on an exoneration strategy. British media reported that froome is relying on renowned london lawyer mike morgan in his defense. The lawyer had also represented – albeit with modest results – alberto contador and lance armstrong’s team manager johan bruyneel, who were involved in the doping case.
The british series winner had already been aware of the results, which were only made public on wednesday, since the 20. September known. A day later, UCI president brian cookson had lost his office to frenchman david lappartient in the election held during the world championships in bergen, norway. The ex-president of great britain hastened to say that he had "no influence" on the case and reiterated that "every rider is treated equally".
"This is already the supergau and evokes memories of a time in cycling from which we all want to distance ourselves so much. And it’s complicated, because it’s a substance that doesn’t immediately lead to a positive doping test, because it’s supposed to give athletes suffering from asthma the opportunity to compete anyway," kittel wrote further.
Four-time world time trial champion martin had the day before strongly criticized the UCI’s handling of the striking test result, calling it a "scandal". "I am totally furious. In the case of froome there is definitely a double standard. Other athletes are immediately banned after a positive test," the katusha alpecin pro had written on his website.
"He had not been allowed to compete in the world championships", martin had explained. Although froome’s values were already known, the serial winner still rode to a bronze medal in the world championship time trial in bergen, martin finished ninth.
Ex-professional jorg jaksche speculated that the use of salbutamol, which is questionable for its doping effect, was of only marginal interest. "The values are so high that the use of the spray hardly explains the results. What else will happen is speculation, but probably more likely to be punished," the doping-tainted former telekom pro told the german press agency.