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Anorak | Asthmatics gasp as another British cycling champion is accused of cheating

Asthmatics gasp as another British cycling champion is accused of cheating

by | 15th, December 2017

Has anyone blamed Chris Frome’s failed drugs test on Russia yet? Tour de France winner Frome was found to have high levels of an asthma drug in his urine. He might well be innocent, of course. And if he can explain the discrepancy, Frome will not earn a year-long ban from the sport. He says he is innocent. “My asthma got worse at the Vuelta [a Espana],” says Frome, “so I followed the tram doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. I tok the greatest care to ensure I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

In the meanwhile, the BBC has to work out if the cyclist should appear on Sports Personality of the Year. “It’s a massive headache, one which the BBC should do without,” says a BBC “source” in the Mirror. What asthma sufferers make of it is not mentioned. Presumably, they’re affronted that a man who has apparently overcome the condition with such gusto is being pilloried and possible censored.

Not that this is new. Bradley Wiggins, like Frome a Tour de France winner with Team Sky, has suffered with asthma. And like Frome, treatment of his condition has proven problematic. Perhaps asthmatics should confine their sporting activities to chess and panting down telephone sex lines?

As the BBC gets in a tizz about role models and who is fit to appear on its show, we get a bit more about Frome and Wiggins in the Mail. The paper picks up on a Facebook post by Lady Catherine Wiggins, Sir Bradley’s wife, in which she opines: “I’m going to be sick. Nothing in the news. If I was given to conspiracy theory I’d allege they’d thrown my boy under the bus on purpose to cover for this slithering reptile.” To ensure readers were not left in any doubt as to the identity of the reptile, Lady Wiggins’ post came with a photo of Frome.

Her ladyship has now removed the post and has posted an apology: “Sorry everyone for my emotional comments and insults. Too much stress got the better of me. Heat of the moment thing and certainly not my intent to fan the flames.”

No flames without smoke. Best open the window and let some sunlight and fresh air in. It’s getting claustrophobic for the asthmatics…

PS: what is it with cycling and asthma?

An assessment of the British Cycling team before the 2004 Olympics showed that around 40 per cent had asthma compared to only about eight per cent of the general population. For [Dr John Dickinson] Dickinson, this discrepancy stands to reason.

“Athletes are far more prone to asthma-related problems, mainly because of the environments they’re exposed to and the conditions required by the sport, such as the high breathing rates over prolonged periods.

“Cycling is done outdoors, often in dry, polluted air — there are lots of reasons for the high prevalence.”

And then there are the overtaking estate cars, media vehicles, villagers firing compressed-air horns into your eyeballs, finding the throat to scream “Get out the f***ing way” in French as you ascend a mountain pass Tibetan Sherpas view as a bit on the slippery side of steep, and the organ throttling lycra. It’s a miracle cyclists can breathe at all.



Posted: 15th, December 2017 | In: News, Sports, Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink