Chris Froome has sought to explain the facts of his recent salbutamol case by writing in French newspaper Le Monde on the eve of the Tour de France.
Froome was booed by French crowds when he appeared at the Tour's team presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon on Thursday night with the rest of the Team Sky squad, days after the UCI closed its anti-doping investigation into him on Monday.
Although Froome is now in the clear following the presumed adverse analytical finding he returned en route to victory in La Vuelta last September, there are still fears he will face a hostile reception on French roads this month and Thursday's events only served to heighten them.
No doubt seeking to quell the lingering distrust among some French fans, Froome wrote a column outlining the basic details of his case.
"An abnormal reading for my asthma medication from last year's Vuelta in Spain raised legitimate questions - not least from me," Froome wrote.
"Monday's decision from cycling's governing body the UCI and from WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) confirmed that I had done nothing wrong. I hope that this helps lift the shadow of doubt. Most importantly it draws a line that allows us all to focus on bike racing.
"That said I recognise there are complex issues involved that cannot be boiled down into a single sentence. I know the French public are fair minded. I know many of you will not have been following the detail of the case so I wanted to set out the facts very simply so you can reach your own judgments."
Salbutamol is an asthma treatment, and Froome used the column to outline his history of suffering from asthma since childhood, and of managing his medication as a professional athlete.
"I know exactly what the rules are and how many puffs I am allowed to take," he wrote. "I also know I am going to be tested at the end of every stage when I am in the leader's jersey - indeed, I was tested 23 times during the Vuelta. And it is also worth pointing out that there is no performance benefit from using an asthma inhaler. It is purely a medical treatment."
Froome's case would have ordinarily remained confidential until it was determined whether the reading returned in Spain constituted an anti-doping violation, but the story was leaked - via Le Monde - in December.
"Of course when that happened it was inevitable that some people would rush to judgement," Froome wrote.
"It is always difficult for someone who knows they have done nothing wrong to have their integrity questioned. That said I am a realist. I know the history of the sport, good and bad - and I would be the last to complain about scrutiny."
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The long wait between details of the case becoming known in December and Monday's resolution caused much angst within cycling. Froome continued to compete, as per his right, and won the Giro d'Italia in May to hold all three Grand Tour jerseys at the same time, even as the UCI president David Lappartient and several of his rivals called on him to voluntarily step aside until it was over.
Froome was adamant throughout he had done nothing wrong and would be exonerated, and in his column he repeated the message he has delivered since riding to his first Tour victory in 2013.
"I meant it when I stood on the podium on the Champs Elysee and said I would never dishonour the yellow jersey and my results would stand the test of time," he wrote. "I won't - and they will. I love this sport. I am passionate about the Tour. To win any race based on a lie would for me be a personal defeat. I could never let that happen.
"Like everyone I am counting down the hours until the Tour starts. The Grand Depart is one of my favourite days of the year. It's the moment when the whole of France starts to create the unique magic that is the Tour. And I can't wait to compete again on cycling's most beautiful stage in front of its most passionate fans."