Tour de France favourite Chris Froome insisted Friday he would never cheat to win cycling’s biggest race, writing in the Le Monde newspaper that victory based on a lie would be a personal defeat. On the eve of the start of the Tour, the British rider who was jeered when he was presented to French cycling fans on Thursday, said he was relieved that cycling authorities this week ended a probe into doping suspicions surrounding the four-times winner.
“Winning any race by lying would for me be a personal defeat,” Froome, 33, wrote in the French newspaper that first revealed he had returned an abnormal result in a doping test during the Tour of Spain in September.
Froome said that he had been cleared of wrongdoing “after nine months of meticulous analysis” of the so-called adverse analytical finding (AAF). He insisted that the AAF was not the same as a positive doping result and should have remained confidential. Instead, the abnormal result was leaked and has clouded preparations for the Tour de France, with organisers taking the unusual step of banning Froome from taking part before relenting after cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, announced he had been cleared on Monday. -AFP