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
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.