Chris Froome: Tour de France winner will race in Spain next week, despite UCI investigation

Cyclist Chris Froome
Chris Froome took the Vuelta a Espana title in September, during which he returned an 'adverse' test

Chris Froome will begin his 2018 cycling season next week, despite being under investigation for the use of his asthma medication last year.

Team Sky have confirmed the 32-year-old will be part of the line-up for the Ruta del Sol, starting on February 14.

He will compete at the five-day race in Spain two years after taking the overall victory and a stage win.

Froome returned an "adverse" drugs test at the Vuelta a Espana in September, but denies any wrongdoing.

The four-time Tour de France winner, who says he has been training hard through January, added: "It's been good to be out on my bike and to get the miles under my belt."

Team Sky confirmed in December that they were co-operating with an investigation by the UCI - cycling's governing body - after it emerged Froome had double the allowed limit of the legal asthma drug salbutamol in his urine sample.

"I'm confident that we will be able to get to the bottom of what has happened and I'm working hard with the team to do that," Froome said ahead of his season opener.

"Obviously I understand that this situation has created a lot of uncertainty. I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation."

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford added: "We all recognise that these are difficult circumstances but it's important for all sides that this process is conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached."

Froome could be banned if he fails to explain the test finding and could then face being stripped of his Vuelta title and two World Championship bronze medals, while he could also miss this year's Giro d'Italia and be unable to defend his Tour title in July.

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