Team Sky star Chris Froome has thanked fans for their support during a “tough old period” as he battles to clear his name following an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug Salbutamol.
Froome is racing in northern Italy as he prepares for the Giro d’Italia in May, but first has to clear his name following the test at the Vuelta a Espana, which he won in September.
“The support has been incredible,” said Froome, who uses an inhaler to cope with exercise induced asthma.
“This has been a tough old period. It hasn’t been easy for me, but I’m getting through it. I’m staying focused on the goal at hand.”
His comments come in the week that a scathing report from a group of MPs into doping in sport claimed Team Sky had “crossed the ethical line” by giving a powerful corticosteroid to Froome’s former team-mate Bradley Wiggins before the 2012 Tour de France.
The select committee report said that Wiggins’ use of Triamcinolone had more to do with enhancing performance than medical needs, which Team Sky dispute. Wiggins denies any wrongdoing.
“This has been a week from hell for Team Sky considering all the investigations,” said cycling journalist Stephen Farrand from Cycling News.
“But they’re doing what they always do – racing hard and being successful. There may be turmoil on the inside but they try to put on a nice exterior and win races.”
Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford has not travelled to Italy this week for the Tirreno Adriatico seven-day race.