International Cycling Union (UCI) president David Lappartient has called for Team Sky to suspend its star rider Chris Froome while an investigation into the adverse drugs test he returned during the Vuelta a Espana continues.
Froome is under scrutiny after a urine sample submitted during his successful Vuelta campaign showed elevated levels of the asthma medication salbutamol.
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.
However, the sample returned by Froome displayed a concentration of the substance that was double the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) threshold of 1,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml).
The rider has insisted he has not broken the rules, while Sky's general manager David Brailsford has said he is confident Froome stayed "within the permissible dose for salbutamol".
The adverse finding does not necessarily constitute a breach of the rules and Froome has not been hit with a provisional suspension.
Nevertheless, Lappartient, who was elected to replace Brian Cookson as UCI chief in September, feels the four-time Tour de France champion should not be permitted by his team to compete while an investigation into the situation continues.
"Sky should suspend Froome," Lappartient was quoted as telling Le Telegramme by L'Equipe. "Now, it's not up to me to interfere. Without wishing to comment on the rider's guilt, it would be easier for everyone [if Froome was suspended by his team].
"It's up to Brailsford to take his responsibilities. Quite apart from that, I think that's what the other riders want.
"They're fed up with the general image.
"Whether the test result is abnormal or not, either naturally or fraudulently, it's awful: in the eyes of the wider public he's already guilty.
"We're in the hands of the experts. It's up to Froome to demonstrate the reasons for such a high level of salbutamol, it's up to him to prove his innocence."
When contacted by Omnisport, Team Sky declined the opportunity to respond to Lappartient's comments.
Froome is due to compete at the Giro d'Italia, the only grand tour event he is yet to win, in May, and Lappartient is concerned the matter will not be settled when the race begins.
"It's going to be a judicial battle that will last a long time," he said. "This affair won't be sorted out in two minutes, it could last at least a year."
After news of the adverse sample emerged last month, Froome insisted he will cooperate fully with the UCI's investigation.
"I certainly haven't broken any rules here," he told BBC Sport.
"I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits. I have given all that information to the UCI to help get to the bottom of it."
|Thunderstorms push Andalucia Valderrama Masters into reserve day|
|Edmund masters Monfils to claim maiden singles title|
|Kohli and Rohit fire India to comprehensive ODI win|
|Manchester United didn´t play - David Luiz blasts Mourinho tactics|
|Svitolina out to silence ´haters´ in Singapore|
|Emre Can facing surgery on thyroid problem|
|Tsitsipas claims maiden ATP crown in Stockholm|
|Mariners boss Mulvey knows nothing of Bolt contract offer|
|WATCH: Vinicius Junior scores free-kick - then sees red!|
|Gronkowski ruled out of Bears clash|
|Khachanov enjoys home comforts with comprehensive Kremlin Cup win|
|Isner wants Wimbledon tie-break rule named after him|
|Hummels lauds ´outstanding´ Lewandowski|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement no accident – Gomez|
|Pliskova overpowers defending champion Wozniacki in Singapore|
|Marquez dislocates shoulder celebrating MotoGP title|
|Henry taking positives from opening Monaco defeat|
|A-League Review: Mariners held as Bolt considers move|
|Dominant Svitolina ends Kvitova hoodoo in Singapore|
|Pereira warns Juventus to expect ´pumped up´ Manchester United|
|D´Antoni backs NBA to ´sort out´ Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Mixed feelings for champion Marquez after Dovizioso crash|
|Bolt offered contract by Central Coast Mariners|
|Anthony accuses Rondo of spitting after Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Martial insists he has good relationship with Mourinho|
|Bautista to replace Lorenzo at Phillip Island|
|Emery wanted Lacazette at Paris Saint-Germain|
|Wallabies centre Hodge suffers fractured ankle|
|Koepka claims top ranking with CJ Cup win|
|Dramatic Dovizioso crash gifts Marquez MotoGP title in Japan|
|LeBron´s home debut ends in defeat, Walker makes NBA history|
|Rondo, Ingram and Paul exchange punches in Lakers-Rockets clash|
|Dodgers to face Red Sox in World Series after beating Brewers|
|Valverde doesn´t care about extending Barca contract|
|Qualifying speed a ´positive surprise´ for Ferrari´s Vettel|
|I was in a different headspace – Hamilton revels in Austin pole|
|Barcelona can cope without Messi – Pique|
|Allegri: Juventus abandoned Genoa clash|
|Sale: Hospital visit was because of belly button ring|
|Valverde accepts Barcelona will miss Messi|
|No Messi or Ronaldo in El Clasico for first time since 2007|
|Barcelona have not won a Clasico without Messi since his debut|
|Ramos calls for Real Madrid unity after latest loss piles pressure on Lopetegui|
|Hamilton has title in sights after storming to Austin pole|
|Inter, El Clasico and more - the games Messi will miss with broken arm|
|End of Messi-Ronaldo duel good for LaLiga - Simeone|
|Messi out of Clasico with fractured arm|
|Awesome Ashton marks Sale bow with hat-trick|
|Klopp hopes for positive Henderson prognosis amid Liverpool injury issues|
|Benitez ´convinced´ Newcastle can survive despite seventh defeat|
|Barcelona 4 Sevilla 2: Messi injured but champions go top|
|Kovac relieved by Bayern´s timely victory|
|Strasbourg 2 Monaco 1: Sy howler and Grandsir red card cost Henry in first match|
|Leicester City defender Chilwell signs new six-year contract|
|PSG´s Tuchel hopes Verratti and Di Maria can face Napoli|
|Liverpool star Salah had no fear during scoring drought|
|Alonso´s 2019 plans not damaged by McLaren´s IndyCar decision|
|Edinburgh outclass troubled Toulon, Wasps and Bath play out thrilling draw|
|Barca concern as Messi substituted with worrying arm injury|
|Howe: South coast derby draw a fair result|
|Our heads were in Manchester – Allegri left fuming at Juventus´ loss of focus|
|Derby County 2 Sheffield United 1: Marriott blunts Blades with 77th-minute winner|
|We have so many problems – Jokanovic alarmed by Fulham defensive woes|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Liverpool 1: Salah snaps winless streak|
|Pellegrini ruing injuries after Yarmolenko hurts ankle|
|Villarreal 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Simeone´s side denied LaLiga top spot|
|Gracia: Not easy to dominate Wolves like that|
|Isner´s Finals hopes hindered by Stockholm defeat|
|Dyche incredulous at refereeing decisions in Man City thrashing|
|Juventus 1 Genoa 1: Champions´ winning run ends despite record Ronaldo goal|