Chris Froome says he's now free of parasitic condition bilharzia

First negative test since 2009 diagnosis means TdF champ won't have to undertake twice-yearly treatment

by Simon_MacMichael   December 14, 2013  

Chris Froome celebrates winning the 2013 Tour de France (picture copyright Simon Wilkinson:SWpix.com)

Tour de France champion Chris Froome has confirmed that he no longer has the parasitic disease, bilharzia.  The 28-year-old had suffered from the condition, found in rural Africa, for several years before it was diagnosed through a blood scan ahead of his joining Team Sky for the 2010 season.

"At last I am free of the debilitating disease bilharzia," Froome told the Independent. "I had a test when I went back to Kenya recently and it is the first time it has come back negative since the diagnosis [in 2009]," he added.

"That is fantastic news for me. I'm not going to have to worry about that any more. That should be it gone now.

"I have been going back every six months for the past two years and returning positive results.

“When I was first diagnosed they said it had been in my system for at least two years, but it could have been there even longer, five or six years possibly."

Doctors had initially thought that the former Barloworld rider was suffering from mononucleosis until his condition, caused by a waterborne parasite, which deposits its larvae in the host’s bloodstream, was found.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said last summer that the non-diagnosis of Froome’s illness, and subsequent management of it, may be one reason for Froome’s apparently rapid transformation from someone who finished 84th overall in his debut Tour in 2008 into a rider some belief will dominate the Tour for several years.

You can read Froome’s full interview with the Independent here.

7 user comments

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in hindsight: it's not the first time a cyclist came back with a vengeance after illness. And we all know how that happened. (not pointing names and naming fingers, just keeping my healthy skepticism)

posted by KnightBiker [40 posts]
14th December 2013 - 17:58

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Wow. That escalated quickly.

posted by samwstraw [26 posts]
14th December 2013 - 18:16

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yep - i shouldn't try trolling because i seem to be a natural.
(just a bit bored with these stories of where the talent came from as long lasting and maybe permanent effects of doping might still be in athlete's systems. that's not this case but ryder hesjedal's who is riding around unpunished)

posted by KnightBiker [40 posts]
14th December 2013 - 19:43

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Froome now officially gets the all clear of Bilharzia - cue collective groan from the rest of the peloton...there goes that straw they were clutching at!

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posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
15th December 2013 - 21:34

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Thing is - his body has developed an outlandish ability to grow new red blood cells because of the bilharzia. Now he's clear of it, that capability will reduce over time...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [814 posts]
15th December 2013 - 22:05

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Gizmo_ wrote:
Thing is - his body has developed an outlandish ability to grow new red blood cells because of the bilharzia. Now he's clear of it, that capability will reduce over time...

So he could actually get worse over time? Maybe the rest of the peleton has a hope afterall

posted by jarredscycling [438 posts]
16th December 2013 - 19:52

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Very interesting take on it Gizmo.....good point.

posted by J90 [95 posts]
16th December 2013 - 22:42

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