Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Paris —Leading French rider Romain Bardet has called cycling "a laughing stock" for failing to announce any sanctions against Chris Froome since his adverse doping test during 2017’s Vuelta a Espana was revealed.

In an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe, Bardet, who has finished on the podium in the Tour de France in each of the last two years, also said he doubted the British rider would be cleared.

"I would like to believe in Chris Froome’s good faith, but when you go over the limit, the rules provide for sanctions. We can no longer be permissive about this," Bardet said.

Bardet finished second on the Tour in 2016 and then third last year, both times behind Froome, who has won the race in four of the last five years.

Froome and his Team Sky revealed in December that the 32-year-old had tested for elevated levels of the asthma medication salbutamol during the Vuelta, which he won for the first time, in September.

Although salbutamol is permitted in certain doses, Froome gave a urine reading of twice the allowed limit.

However, as the medication can be taken legally, Froome was not suspended by cycling’s governing body the UCI but merely asked to explain the elevated reading.

Bardet admitted his frustration that no decision has yet been taken on whether to suspend Froome or strip him of his Vuelta victory. In the meantime, he can ride as normal.

"Froome gave the test in September and, as if by chance, we find out about it in December," Bardet, 27, said in the interview.

AFP

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