Froome says will race on despite ongoing investigation

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Chris Froome has spoken to the cycling media for the first time since his salbutamol case stating that there is "a lot of misinformation out there" surrounding the case and that "people will see it from my point of view" when the issue is resolved.

Froome was speaking ahead of the start of the five-day race in Andalusia, his first appearance in the peloton since the revelations in December of the test result.

Chris Froome promised to prove his innocence as he spoke in public today for the first time since it was revealed that he had returned an adverse finding in a drug test conducted past year. "It was great to catch up and wonderful to see the support".

There is no mandatory ban in this type of case and riders usually respond in private, but UCI president David Lappartient has said Team Sky should suspend Froome until the case is resolved.

"It's super bad for cycling", said four-time world time trial champion Tony Martin, speaking to CyclingPro before the first stage in La Cala de Mijas.

The UCI have asked Froome to explain why twice the allowed limit showed up in his sample. "It's the first time I've seen a lot of guys since before this all happened", he said, "so it's great to catch up with people in person and fantastic to see how much support there is out there". These are not normal circumstances.

"This part of the process should be confidential let's not forget, and he hasn't got an anti-doping rule violation against him - that needs to be taken into consideration".

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Froome is participating in the five-day Ruta del Sol in southern Spain, an event he won in 2015.

Froome was warmly received by crowds gathered on a palm-tree lined road in Granada, southern Spain, to witness a solid start to the Ruta del Sol, his debut race in a season during which controversy promises to reign.

"I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation", Froome said in a statement on Team Sky's website last week.

"He did a lot of good training in South Africa".

"Nobody's denying it's a challenging situation but equally I think it's only fair at this point that everybody abides by the process, and the process totally allows him to race in this situation and that's what we're doing", Brailsford said.

However, Froome confirmed his plans to ride the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France remain even if the case is unsolved by the start of the Giro in May.

On the other hand, if he is later banned then he would be retrospectively disqualified, meaning he could be distorting the competitive balance of the Ruta by riding.

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