Froome to race in Spain despite calls to withdraw

Wout Poels at Milano-Torino

Wout Poels at Milano Torino (Tim

Chris Froome promised to prove his innocence as he spoke in public today for the first time since it was revealed that he had returned an adverse finding in a drug test conducted past year.

He is clear to race, even if some people, including the UCI president, have said that he ought to have been provisionally suspended by his team until a doping tribunal has established how he came to have twice the legal limit of Salbutamol in his system after stage 18 of La Vuelta last August.

"It's super bad for cycling", said four-time world time trial champion Tony Martin, speaking to CyclingPro before the first stage in La Cala de Mijas.

"I do believe that when all the facts are out there I think people will see it from my point of view", Froome said.

He said he has received a lot of support from other riders so far, and that he is trying to solve the issue as fast as possible.

"We've got full knowledge of the situation and we're working closely to resolve the situation".

"Obviously it's been the first time since I've seen a lot of guys now since this all happened, so it's great to be able to catch up with them in person and see how much support there is out there in the peloton". I want to thank everyone for their support & patience over this hard period. No one wants this resolved more quickly than I do.

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Froome competes in the Ruta del Sol this week in his first race since the case became public in December.

If he succeeds in clearing his name, this race could prove an important stepping stone for success on the road later in the season.

Froome needs miles in his legs to prepare for his bigger objectives: the Giro d'Italia, which starts on May 4, and the Tour de France, starting July 7, where he would be chasing a record-equalling fifth victory.

On the other hand, if he is later banned then he would be retrospectively disqualified, meaning he could be distorting the competitive balance of the Ruta by riding.

"It was good to be back racing", Froome told Sky Sports News.

'We're in the middle of that process now and there is a process in place for me to demonstrate that I haven't done anything wrong, ' said Froome.

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