Froome acknowledges 'wider issues' as Team Sky confirm Giro line-up
Team Sky have announced their line-up for the Giro d'Italia as Chris Froome attempts to win a third consecutive Grand Tour event amid continuing scrutiny following an adverse drugs test.
Froome won his fourth Tour de France and first Vuelta a Espana last season, only for a sample provided during his successful campaign in Spain to show elevated levels of salbutamol.
Asthma medication salbutamol is permitted by WADA rules without the need for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) when inhaled up to a limit of 1,600 micrograms over 24 hours.
Froome, who insists he has done nothing wrong, remains free to compete during a UCI investigation into the matter.
However, his continuing presence in competition has prompted criticism from UCI president David Lappartient, and the Kenyan-born Britain is well aware of his difficult position.
"I... recognise the wider issues and as I have said before I am doing everything I can, together with the Team, to help resolve them as quickly as possible," he said in a statement on the Team Sky website.
"In the meantime I am focused on racing. I would love to win the maglia rosa, but I am under no illusions whatsoever about how hard the race will be."
Froome, who will be joined in the team by David de la Cruz, Kenny Elissonde, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Wout Poels and Salvatore Puccio, has not competed in the Giro since 2010.
"I've had a different start to the season as I've obviously been aiming to try and reach my peak quite a bit earlier than usual," he said.
"But the target of going for a third consecutive Grand Tour has given me new motivation.
"Of course there is an element of risk involved in targeting the Giro before the Tour, but I think I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't give this race a go."
The Giro, won by Tom Dumoulin in 2017, will start in Jerusalem on May 4.