The organiser of the Vuelta a Espana has said it is adopting a position of "extreme caution" after 2017 race winner Chris Froome returned elevated levels of salbutamol in a drugs test at this year's event.
As a long-time sufferer of asthma, four-time Tour de France champion Froome uses an inhaler to take salbutamol, a common medication permitted by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
However, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has requested further information from Froome and Team Sky after a urine test on September 7, following stage 18 of the Vuelta, revealed levels of salbutamol that exceeded those permitted.
In a statement, Team Sky insisted "the notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken", highlighting the fact "the use of permissible dosages of salbutamol can sometimes result in elevated urinary concentrations, which require explanation."
Froome, who says he took great care not to use more than the permissible dose, also posted a message on Twitter, in which he stated: "I am confident that we will get to the bottom of this."
Thank you for all the messages of support this morning. I am confident that we will get to the bottom of this. Unfortunately I can't share any more information than I already have until the enquiry is complete.
-- Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) December 13, 2017
A statement posted on the Vuelta's Facebook page read: "Regarding today's news about Christopher Froome's unfavourable test result during La Vuelta 2017, Unipublic, the organiser of La Vuelta wishes to communicate that it will await the UCI's official conclusions.
"The regulatory entity has launched an investigation and the position of La Vuelta's organiser is one of extreme caution, as it hopes for this issue to be resolved as quickly as possible."