Tour de France block Froome from riding

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Defending champion Chris Froome will ride the Tour de France even if the owners of cycling's biggest race want to prevent the four-times victor from appearing in this year's event due to an ongoing doping investigation, his wife told Reuters.

Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the organisers of the iconic Tour, refused to comment on the report although AFP has had confirmation of information they say backs their view that the defending champion should not be allowed to race. Froome, 33, became the first Briton to win the race in the Giro's 101-year history after the 115km closed circuit race through the streets of the Italian capital.

Le Monde claims Team Sky are appealing against ASO's decision to the French Olympic Committee, who will reportedly consider the case on Tuesday and announce their verdict the following day.

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Froome is permitted to continue racing while awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation and has already vowed to compete in this year's Tour. 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.

The decision will be made by three judges, who will not rule on whether Froome is guilty of doping, but rather whether or not him taking part would damage the Tour de France's image.

French newspaper Le Monday race organisers are trying to prevent Froome from starting the race. I have always said we would make known the general position of the UCI before the Tour and that will be the case.

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Froome and Team Sky have denied any wrongdoing.

Hinault, whose 1985 win gave the host nation its last title, sees Froome as a "cheat", a stance Team Sky decried. Despite his adverse test for salbutamol, Froome rode and won the Giro d'Italia in May.

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