Chris Froome on Drug Controversy: My Legacy Is Not Tainted, I've Done Nothing Wrong

Four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome insists his legacy is not tainted and denied breaking any rules after a urine test he gave during the Vuelta a Espana in September showed excessive levels of an asthma medication.

Froome, who became the first British rider to win the Vuelta, had double the allowed level of the legal asthma drug Salbutamol in his urine, Cycling's governing body, the UCI, said on Wednesday.

"I understand this comes as a big shock to people," Froome told the BBC in an interview. "I certainly haven't broken any rules here. I haven't taken more than the permissible amount and I am sure at the end of the day the truth will be told."

Salbutamol is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wasa) prohibited list and is not allowed to be taken orally or by injection, while amounts are limited via an inhaler. Riders can take a maximum of 16 puffs over the course of 24 hours. The drug is not believed to produce performance-enhancing effects when taken via inhaler but it can improve strength and power in muscles when taken in other ways.

Team Sky rider Froome, 32, risks missing next year's Tour de France and could lose his Vuelta crown unless he can provide a satisfactory explanation for the failed test during the Spanish race.

"I can understand a lot of people's reactions, especially given the history of the sport. But this is a very different case. This is not a positive test," Froome said.

"As it stands the UCI have asked me for more information regarding my use of Salbutamol, which is a very common medicine used in treating asthma.

"I have been only too happy to help the UCI fill in the blanks and give all that information up to try and get to the bottom of what has happened."

Asked whether he felt his legacy had been permanently tainted, Froome said: "No."

He added that he had shared "everything he had" regarding his use of the drug with cycling's governing body.

"I have been a professional cyclist now, treating my symptoms and racing with asthma, for 10 years," Froome said.

"I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits.

"I have got a very clear routine when I use my inhaler and how many times. I have given all that information to the UCI to help get to the bottom of it."

Froome won the Vuelta little over a month after winning his fourth Tour de France title, becoming the most successful male rider in British history.

On Friday (December 17), Froome has been shortlisted for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award which is being held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Chris Froome
Chris Froome at the 8th stage of the 72nd edition of 'La Vuelta' Tour of Spain, between Hellin to Xorret de Cati, August 26. Froome has denied any wrongdoing. JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty