Team Sky's Chris Froome became the first man since Bernard Hinault to hold all three Grand Tour titles at once when he won the Giro d'Italia in May. Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

BERLIN  Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is to be blocked from entering this year's race by organisers over an ongoing doping case, according to a report Sunday.

Tour organisers ASO have told Froome's Team Sky he would not be allowed to start the race which begins Saturday, the French paper Le Monde said. Froome returned an adverse analytical finding in the 2017 Spanish Vuelta and is eligible to continue competing until the ruling body UCI has reached a verdict.

A test showed twice the permitted concentration of the asthma medication salbutamol in his system. The Briton subsequently won the Giro D'Italia earlier this year and intended to defend his Tour de France title.

ASO is trying to block Frome as its rules "expressly reserves the right to refuse participation in  or to exclude from  the event, a team or any of its members whose presence would be such as to damage the image or reputation of ASO or the event."

Le Monde says a Team Sky appeal will be heard by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee on Tuesday with a decision set for the following day.

The 2018 Tour de France ends July 29 after 3,329 kilometres of riding.

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