Top Kiwi road cyclist George Bennett believes Chris Froome shouldn't be allowed to compete while he awaits the outcome of an ongoing doping investigation.
Bennett has finished ninth overall in the Tirreno Adriatico in Italy, a week long race featuring most of the world's top riders including the Tour de France champion Brit.
Froome returned an adverse analytical finding for asthma medication Salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a Espana and the UCI has not yet decided whether he will be suspended.
Bennett told Radio Sport that Froome shouldn't be allowed to compete while there's such uncertainty.
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"It's a strange situation. I think most people, just for cycling's sake, would prefer it without it. If he sat out the big races. just because you come to a race like this, the main race is going on and the attention is focused on Froome and should he be here and now we're talking about it when we should be talking about Rohan Dennis and how fast he went today. It just distracts from the racing," Bennett said.
"That goes both ways. It goes for the media and for the riders. I think for cycling it's just not good at all. Everyone is saying 'the quicker we get a resolution the better'. I really hope we have a decision soon especially before the Giro…it's just not good for our sport."
Bennett said some 'stupid mistakes' late in the Tirreno Adriatico proved costly.
"A bit disappointed but I think in a few days I'll be happy with how it went."
He now heads to Spain for the Tour of Catalunya.
"It's another world tour stage race. It's around my home roads. It's going to be a really tough week as well. Again it's going to be the best GC riders going there, all the climbers so should be a tough week."
"Here at Tirreno and next week at Catalunya are the two strongest fields all year leading into the Giro [d'Italia] and the Tour [de France]. Pretty much everyone from the top ten from the Tour de France are here."