Team Sky’s Chris Froome dismisses inhaler controversy

Froome, who leads the Dauphine by 12 seconds following Tuesday’s third stage, was pictured using an inhaler during racing on Monday, which sparked plenty of questions, while he was also challenged on whether Sky were ready to help him defend his Tour de France title next month.

But the 29-year-old Brit was unfazed, claiming he has used an inhaler throughout his career to combat asthma and that it met all of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) doping rules.

“I’ve used an inhaler since I was a kid ” I do have exercise-induced asthma, it’s nothing new to me, it’s something I’ve used throughout my career,” Froome said on Tuesday.

“I don’t use it every time I race, normally only when I know I’ve got a big effort coming up or something.

“It’s completely allowed, you don’t even need a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) for it so it’s a bit of a surprise that everyone is talking about it.”

While Froome can understand why the cycling community are quick to pounce on any drug-related stories, considering the sport’s past, the Kenyan-born rider maintained ‘there’s no need to make a big deal out of it’.

Froome won the opening two stages of the Dauphine but, after Monday’s mountainous second stage, some pundits claimed his team was looking weaker than in 2013.

The Sky cyclist won the Dauphine last year before going on to triumph at the Tour de France and he maintained he believes the likes of Richie Porte, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez and Geraint Thomas are ready to meet all challenges over the next two months.

“I feel I’ve watched my teammates around me also progressing through all the altitude training we’ve been doing, through all the previous races we’ve been doing. I’ve got a lot of confidence in them also,” Froome said.

“It’s one of the reasons why we’re here is to learn to put the training into practice. I think we maybe made a few mistakes yesterday out on the road, maybe we went a little bit hard earlier on in the climb but then again we also wanted to make more of a selection.”

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