Tour organizers don't want Froome on starting line

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Team Sky has responded, saying: "We are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong".

According to the newspaper, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) - the Tour de France organisers - have informed Team Sky they don't want Froome to be on the starting line. He could face a ban and be stripped of several results if found guilty, while in recent weeks five-time Tour victor Bernard Hinault has called on Froome's competitors to strike if the Team Sky rider turns up in the Vendee region for the Grand Depart.

Technically, while Froome awaits the result of an ongoing investigation into his Salbutamol case, he can still ride on the Tour.

Sky, ASO and the French Olympic Committee will each choose an arbiter to decide whether Froome should be allowed to start the Tour.

Prudhomme, once a journalist, would not blame the situation on the UCI's president, David Lappartient, who took over the position from Brian Cookson last autumn.

Team Sky have yet to unveil their eight-strong Tour team.

Froome is the defending champion with this year's Tour beginning on Saturday (July 7).

Froome, who says he has suffered from asthma since the age of 18, had double the permitted 1,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) in his system when tested at last year's Vuelta a Espana.

Froome took a sensational victory at the Giro d'Italia in June to hold all three Grand Tour jerseys at the same time.

The drug widens the airways and allows the taker to breathe more easily, and Froome was found with twice the allowed limit of salbutamol in a urine sample.

British rider Chris Froome has been reportedly banned from the Tour de France.

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