Chris Froome to race 2018 Tour de France as UCI close anti-doping case

Chris Froome has been cleared to race the 2018 Tour de France after the UCI dropped an anti-doping case against him. KT/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has been cleared to race the 2018 Tour de France after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) closed the anti-doping case against him.

The statement released by the UCI comes after reports in Le Monde over the weekend that the Grand Tour organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) were going to prevent Froome from starting the first stage on Saturday in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île.

Froome posted a message on social media in which he said he was "grateful and relieved to finally put this chapter behind me, it has been an emotional 9 months".

The four time Tour de France winner tested positive for excessive levels of salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a Espana. Having sought the advice of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the UCI stated it received submission from "a significant number of expert and scientific reports" on behalf of Froome and an explanation for the positive test on June 4.

"The UCI has considered all the relevant evidence in detail [in consultation with its own experts and experts from WADA]. On 28 June 2018, WADA informed the UCI that it would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome's sample results do not constitute an adverse analytical finding.

"In light of WADA's unparalleled access to information and authorship of the salbutamol regime, the UCI has decided, based on WADA's position, to close the proceedings against Mr Froome," read the statement. "Whilst the UCI would have obviously preferred the proceedings to have been finalised earlier in the season, it had to ensure that Mr Froome had a fair process, as it would have done with any other rider, and that the correct decision was issued."

The world governing body insisted that "its decision is based on expert opinions, WADA's advice, and a full assessment of the facts of the case".

In a statement issued by Team Sky, Froome said: "While this decision is obviously a big deal for me and the Team, it's also an important moment for cycling. I understand the history of this great sport -- good and bad.

"I have always taken my leadership position very seriously and I always do things the right way. I meant it when I said that I would never dishonour a winner's jersey and that my results would stand the test of time.

"I have never doubted that this case would be dismissed for the simple reason that I have known throughout I did nothing wrong."

In a detailed statement, WADA said it would not appeal the UCI decision and insisted that a controlled pharmacokinetic study -- used to prove the abnormal result was the consequence of the use of the therapeutic dose -- "would not have been practicable as it would not have been possible to adequately recreate the unique circumstances that preceded the Sept. 7 doping control".