Chris Froome is available for selection despite being asked by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to explain elevated levels of salbutamol found in his urine, say British Cycling.
The 32-year-old was notified in December that his urine test had returned twice the permitted level of salbutamol, prompting the UCI to seek answers from the four-time Tour de France winner.
The test was taken in September at the Vuelta a Espana – which he won – and he was notified in December.
But Froome has continued to race, and British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said: “In terms of the detail, Chris Froome isn’t banned and he is available for selection.
“There is an option for an athlete to rule themselves out of being available for selection and Chris hasn’t chosen to do that so, under the rules of racing, he is available and it’s innocent until proven guilty.”
Harrington did acknowledge, however, that “it’s been a blow to the whole of cycling and the athlete himself”.
Froome maintains his innocence but will have to explain the reading to the UCI. That process may involve Froome replicating his physical condition on the day of the test to try and produce the same levels of salbutamol.
As things stand, the Team Sky rider will be available for Team GB at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck in September, as there is no guarantee his case will be resolved by then.