Chris Froome will jave to wait on a ruling of his positive doping test. Photo: Daniel dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP

BERLIN Chris Froome's case around a positive doping test is unlikely to be settled before next month's Tour de France where he seeks a fifth title, according to the head of the ruling cycling body UCI, David Lappartient.

"It was always my wish that the case was decided before the tour of Italy. Now I want it solved before the Tour. But you have to be realistic: I don't think that will be the case," Lappartient told Saturday's edition of French paper Le Parisien.

Froome, who won the Giro d'Italia for the first time on Sunday, tested positive for twice the permitted concentration of the asthma medication salbutamol in his system during last year's Spanish Vuelta which he won.

Under UCI rules the Team Sky rider is eligible to continue competing until the ruling body has reached a verdict. This year's Tour de France starts on July 7.

Lappartient said the case was very complex and included a 1,500-page scientific report. He also said that Froome, who has protested his innocence, had enough funds to see his case through.

"The best thing would be if Froome wouldn't participate in competitions. But he made a different decision. We respect his rights," Lappartient said.

If found guilty, Froome could be banned for two years and lose all his titles starting with last year's Vuelta.

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