The legal team representing Chris Froome is reported to have submitted a new scientific study that claims the test for Salbutamol is 'fundamentally flawed'. The UCI are unimpressed however after discovering that some of the paper’s conclusions are based on research on dogs.
Froome – whose nickname is ‘Froomedog’ – had twice the permitted limit of the anti-asthma drug Salbutamol when tested at the Vuelta a Espana last September.
Since then, the legal teams have been hard at work and the case has dragged on. Mail Sport reports that Froome’s team have cited a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, which claims as many as 15.4 per cent of tests could turn up a false positive.
At one point the study states: “In short, a PK model of salbutamol in dogs was used as the basis and extrapolated to humans using allometric scaling.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) science director, Dr Olivier Rabin, said the study contained, “Nothing new as their model is based on three well-known studies.”
Wada has previously had the exercise physiology laboratory at the University of British Columbia run some studies on Salbutamol, after which it defined its threshold.
“We believe the current threshold is solid considering the scientific literature published on Salbutamol over the past 20 years,” said Rabin.
Around 1,500 pages of scientific material have been submitted by Froome's team as part of his defence and some at the UCI have asked whether it is all simply a delaying tactic to allow the rider to pursue a fifth Tour title next month.
Earlier this month, UCI president David Lappartient conceded that a decision on the case was now unlikely until after the race.