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LeMond: Chris Froome broke the rules and should be punished

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It's Greg LeMond to hold a joey

It's Greg LeMond to hold a joey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome crossed the stage 20 finish line at the Vuelta

Chris Froome crossed the stage 20 finish line at the Vuelta (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Three time winner Greg LeMond at the presentation

Three time winner Greg LeMond at the presentation (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond with one of his yellow jerseys

Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond with one of his yellow jerseys (Image credit: Marco Quezada/nyvelocity.com)
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(Image credit: Team Sky)
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Team Sky's Dave Brailsford and Bradley Wiggins in the team bus at the 2013 Giro d'Italia

Team Sky's Dave Brailsford and Bradley Wiggins in the team bus at the 2013 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg LeMond has spoken out on Chris Froome's salbutamol case, arguing that the Tour de France and Vuelta a España winner is solely accountable for what's in his system, and labelling his predicted defence as "ridiculous".

Speaking to The Times, the three-time Tour de France winner went on to criticise Team Sky, suggesting the winners of five of the last six Tours are "too good to be true".

Froome returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for salbutamol at the Vuelta in September, when twice the permitted level of the asthma medication was found in his urine.

As salbutamol is a 'specified' substance on WADA's prohibited list, Froome has not been provisionally suspended but will face a ban unless he can convince the anti-doping authorities that he did not exceed permitted dosage and his sample was skewed by other factors.

"The fallacy that salbutamol does not improve performance is only true if you use it as prescribed. Taken orally or by injection it acts as an anabolic steroid, similar to clenbuterol, the drug that Alberto Contador was positive for," said LeMond.

"That is the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard. If this is what he claims, then it's simple, he broke the rules and should be punished accordingly."

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'Brailsford is secretive'

LeMond also delivered a damning criticism of Team Sky more generally. The British team was created with a commitment to transparency and riding clean but their credibility has been called into question over the years, most notably by the 'jiffy bag' scandal surrounding Bradley Wiggins.