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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.