Michelle Froome: 'Chris will ride in Tour de France'

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Team Sky have already appealed the decision, with a final outcome expected on Wednesday. A decision is set to be made the following day, with just three days to go until the start in the Vendee on July 7.

ASO and Sky are now refusing to comment further and are unlikely to do so before the hearing.

Froome can continue racing as long as the salbutamol case against him remains unresolved.

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CHRIS FROOME faces a fight to defend his Tour de France title after the race's organisers tried to ban him from the startline.

In 2011, Spaniard Alberto Contador took part in the Tour, despite an anti-doping case hanging over him after he tested positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 race, which he won. Five-time Tour victor Bernard Hinault has called on other riders to go on strike if Froome is cleared to compete.

Chris Froome riding last year's L'Etape Australia.

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Le Monde said Froome, who is to be defended by British sports lawyer Mike Morgan, will not necessarily attend tomorrow's meeting by the French committee. I have always said we would make known the general position of the UCI before the Tour and that will be the case.

American Lance Armstrong finished first seven straight times, but those results were retrospectively scrubbed out because of drug use.

Froome's victory at the Giro - after earlier wins in the Vuelta and Tour - meant he became only the seventh man to complete a Grand Tour hat-trick.

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According to Tour statutes, organisers may ban a rider or a team if their presence is seen as liable to damage the image or reputation of the organisers or the event. Despite his adverse test for salbutamol, Froome rode and won the Giro d'Italia in May.

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