Chris Froome has described his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol and his fight to clear his name as 'a horrible situation' but insisted he is working hard to prepare for the 2018 season in which he hopes to target the Giro d'Italia and a fifth Tour de France.
Froome made the comments on Sunday evening during a live interview with the BBC from Team Sky's training base in Mallorca. He was one of ten contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year but went on to finish seventh in the public vote.
Froome won the 2017 Vuelta a España having added a fourth Tour to his palmares in July. However 2000ng/ml of asthma medication salbutamol, double the permissible amount, was found in Froome's urine in an anti-doping test after stage 18 of the 2017 Vuelta a España, on September 7.
He is now fighting to save his Vuelta victory and avoid a possible ban that could means he misses a part of the 2018 season, including his Grand Tours goals. Under anti-doping rules he is allowed to race until the UCI rule on his case but could lose any victories he achieves in that time if he is found to have broken the rules.
Froome has already made it clear he will fight to clear his name, insisting that he didn't take more than the allowed dose of salbutamol. He could undergo a series of laboratory tests to try to replicate and explain why double the legal dose of salbutamol was found in his urine.
"I do completely get it, I understand the concerns. I've been a bike rider for ten years and I know how some people might look at our sport. That's a responsibility that I take really seriously," Froome said in the brief interview.
"I am an asthmatic and have been since I was a child. I user a puffer to help me manage my asthma but I've never taken more puffs than I'm allowed.
"This is quite a horrible situation if I'm honest. We're working as hard as we can to get to the bottom of this."
The news broke on Wednesday morning as Team Sky laid down their foundations for the 2018 season at their base in Mallorca. Froome and Team Sky confirmed that they would target the 2018 Giro d'Italia on November 29 despite knowing of the adverse analytical finding and its ramifications.
Froome insisted his goals have not changed when asked what he plans to do next.
"We're currently on a training camp, before getting stuck into preparing for next year's Giro d'Italia – my first goal – before my biggest challenge, winning the Tour de France for the fifth time," he said.