Chris Froome returns to racing despite doping investigation
MALAGA, Spain -- Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome returned to racing on Wednesday despite being under investigation by cycling's world governing body for failing a doping test.
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Froome is participating in the five-day Ruta del Sol in southern Spain, an event he won in 2015.
He finished safely in the main bunch on the opening stage between Mijas and Granada, a stage won by France's Thomas Boudat in a sprint finish.
"I know I have done nothing wrong, that's my starting point," Froome said. "There is a process in place for me to be up to demonstrate that, and that's obviously what I intend to do."
Froome has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level.
"I do believe that when all the facts are out there I think people will see it from my point of view," Froome said.
If found guilty of doping, the British rider could lose his Vuelta title and be suspended for a long period.
"It was good to be back racing," Froome told Sky Sports News. "What was really touching was how riders from other teams came over to offer their support."
Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press