La Roche-sur-Yon - Tour de France favourite Chris Froome
insisted on Friday he would never cheat to win cycling's biggest race, writing
in the Le Monde newspaper that victory based on a lie would be a personal
On the eve of the start of the Tour, the British rider who
was jeered when he was presented to French cycling fans on Thursday, said he
was relieved that cycling authorities this week ended a probe into doping
suspicions surrounding the four-times winner.
"Winning any race by lying would for me be a personal
defeat," Froome, 33, wrote in the French newspaper that first revealed he
had returned an abnormal result in a doping test during the Tour of Spain in
Froome said that he had been cleared of wrongdoing
"after nine months of meticulous analysis" of the so-called adverse
analytical finding (AAF). He insisted that the AAF was not the same as a
positive doping result and should have remained confidential.
Instead, the abnormal result was leaked and has clouded
preparations for the Tour de France, with organisers taking the unusual step of
banning Froome from taking part before relenting after cycling's world
governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, announced he had been
cleared on Monday.
But on Thursday, when Froome and his Team Sky took part in
the traditional presentation of riders to the public at La Roche-sur-Yon, the
starting point of the tour, the race favourite was whistled and jeered by some
cycling fans in the crowd.
"Preparations for this race have not been all that
smooth. Whether that is for me, for the organisers, and for you, all the
cycling fans and the French, that is all who represent the real heart of the
Tour de France", he wrote.
He said that it was "normal" that questions were
raised about abnormal test results for asthma medication Salbutamol, which he
said had been necessary to treat his chronic condition since childhood.
But he insisted French fans should have confidence in the
fact that he would never cheat.
"I was fully sincere when I said on the podium on the
Champs-Elysees that I would never dishonour the yellow jersey, and my results
will stand the test of time," he added.