The latest edition of the Cyclingnews Podcast could only be about one thing: Chris Froome and his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol.
News of what could be one of the biggest stories in recent cycling history broke on Wednesday morning as Team Sky and the UCI pre-empted the revelations that were about to land from Le Monde and the Guardian.
The facts are as follows: 2000 ng/ml of asthma medication salbutamol, double the permissible amount, was found in Froome’s urine in an anti-doping test after stage 18 of the 2017 Vuelta a España, on September 7.
Beyond that we find grey areas and blurred lines aplenty, and in this episode of the podcast Daniel Benson and Patrick Fletcher are joined by Procycling magazine editor Ed Pickering to dissect the complexities and look at what’s at stake.
Froome, as it stands, has not been suspended and is free to compete, but the onus is on him and Team Sky to prove that he did not exceed the permitted dosages and that the test result was an anomaly. If they cannot provide a satisfactory explanation, he faces a ban of up to two years and would be stripped of his Vuelta title.
We discuss the intricacies of the case, and what this means for Froome, for Team Sky, and for cycling in general.