Controversial British cycling star Chris Froome has said it would be "scandalous" if it emerged Wada had sat on unpublished data proving its salbutamol tests were not fit for purpose, although he stopped short of saying he would sue world anti-doping's governing body if it emerged that it had.

Speaking on the eve of the 105th Tour de France, which started in the Vendée region on France's west coast overnight (NZT), Froome was reacting to the developments of the past few days.

The UCI's decision earlier this week to close its nine-month investigation into a "presumed" Adverse Analytical Finding returned by Froome at last September's Vuelta a Espana led to calls for the full, reasoned decision to be released, with many accusing Team Sky of having "bought justice".

Cycling's world governing body released a statement yesterday, however, reiterating its decision to drop the case was based on advice from Wada who, it noted, had "access to information the UCI does not, including ongoing and unpublished studies on the excretion of salbutamol".


Froome said he "very much hoped" the unpublished reports would become public in time, adding he would like to know how long Wada had access to them given how badly his reputation has been damaged in the past six months.

Since the case closed, one scientist responsible for drawing up Wada's threshold test has already publicly admitted the test is flawed.

"How long have they known this for? I'd love to know," Froome said. "If it's data they have had from the very beginning, then it does make a mockery of the proceedings and it would be scandalous."

Asked whether he would contemplate bringing charges against Wada or the UCI if that was the case, Froome said: "It's not something I've ever really given thought to, especially on the eve of the Tour. I'm more concentrating on getting through the next few weeks.

"But to be honest, right from the word go, I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. I mean, the [salbutamol] limit is 16 puffs and I went nowhere near the limit. I mean, if I took 15 puffs, maybe I would have been scratching my head saying, 'Did I count right?' But I was nearer to half that number. So I knew there was no way I could have been near 16. That from the very beginning has kept me going."

Froome was generally in upbeat mood as he prepared to get his race under way, despite an unsettling reception at Thursday's team presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon.

Froome, though, denied the hostile reception had got to him. Nor was he worried about his safety over the next three weeks.

"I have to block all that out," he said. "I'm used to it. It wouldn't be the Tour de France without a bit of edginess here or there. Hopefully the racing will be so full on, there won't be time to even think about anything outside of the race."