Lizzie Deignan has said it doesn’t matter what happens regarding Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case as fans have made up their minds on the Brit’s Adverse Analytical Finding.
The former world champion questioned the outcome of the case given that news about Froome’s case had been leaked from the UCI to the press on 13 December 2017 which Deignan believes has only impaired the outcome.
“He hasn’t had a fair process because unfortunately people have made up their minds, and that is not based on the full story,” Deignan told Orla Chennaoui on her podcast, When Orla Met.
“Unfortunately for Chris his reputation is tarnished and will be for ever. Whether he’s innocent or not, it’s kind of irrelevant to some people at this stage. A leak in a legal process should never happen.”
“A rider should be protected because inevitably there will be things that happen, grey areas that should be looked at logically, scientifically, and analysed in court,” Deignan added.
“That’s an inevitable part of having asthma and taking an inhaler and I think unfortunately he hasn’t had a fair process. It’s a very personal story.”
Froome recorded an adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a España which he went on to win but only a few months later did it become public knowledge after a leak.
The case is still ongoing with it looking more likely that it will continue until after this year’s Tour de France with the UCI President, David Lappartient, acknowledging that it’s “50-50” if they will get it done before La Grande Boucle.
Deignan herself has had her own run in with authorities after missing a series of test and whereabouts requests which lead to her being provisionally suspended for 12 months.
The Yorkshirewoman cleared her name after taking the decision to the Court of Arbitration Sport where the record showed that doping officials hadn’t put enough effort into contacting the Boels-Dolmans rider.
Froome, who is now preparing his bid for a fifth Tour de France title next month, has come under fire for his decision to ride the Giro d’Italia in May which he won.