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."
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|