(THE GUARDIAN) - Chris Froome has criticised the head of cycling's world governing body for speaking publicly about his 2017 failed drug test.
The four-time Tour de France winner defended his decision to continue to compete while he challenges an adverse finding from the Vuelta a Espana last September, which indicated double the permitted level of the asthma drug salbutamol in his system.
Froome is competing at the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy, his second race since the failed test was made public by The Guardian and French daily Le Monde.
He plans to ride at the Giro d'Italia in May before attempting to defend his Tour title.
David Lappartient, the president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said this week it would damage the credibility of the sport if Froome rode the Tour while his case was still unresolved.
"That would be a disaster for the image of cycling," Lappartient said. "(From) a legal point of view, he has the right to ride. For the image of our sport, that could be a disaster and I don't want to put our sport in trouble."
However Froome hit back on Thursday (March 8).
"I saw his comments and I think what I would say is that I'm doing my best to follow the due process here," he told Cyclingnews .
"I get that it's a difficult situation. Given his concern for the reputation of the sport, I think it would be more sensible of him to raise his concerns in person or at least though the right channels as opposed to through the media. I'm obviously doing everything I can to get this resolved as quickly as possible, and just trying to keep my head down."
It is thought that any ban Froome does incur would not affect any of his achievements in the intervening period since he was notified of the failed test.
If the case were to go on past the Giro and Tour, he could possibly win both, safe in the knowledge the results would stand.
Marcel Kittel took his first victory of the season during stage two of the Tirreno Adriatico on Thursday, winning a bunch sprint ahead of Peter Sagan and Giacomo Nizzolo.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed Mark Cavendish suffered a broken rib after his crash during the opening stage.