Chris Froome returns to racing despite doping investigation

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome of Britain rides while training in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain, Thursday Dec. 14, 2017. (Joan Llado/AP)

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.

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."

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