Froome recovers from parasitic illness bilharzia following 2009 diagnosis

The Briton was diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and doctors said it could have been in his system for four years

LONDON (AFP) — Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky) said he has recovered from a parasitic illness that has plagued him for over four years.

The 28-year-old Briton had been suffering from bilharzia, which is usually spread by contaminated water and is most common in Africa.

Froome, who was born in Kenya, has managed to reach the summit of the sport in spite of the condition, but he says he was relieved to learn that he had finally shaken it off.

“At last I am free of the debilitating disease bilharzia,” he told Friday’s edition of British newspaper The Independent.

“I had a test when I went back to Kenya recently and it is the first time it has come back negative since the diagnosis [in 2009]. That is fantastic news for me. I’m not going to have to worry about that any more. That should be gone now.

“I have been going back every six months for the past two years and returning positive results. When I was first diagnosed they said it had been in my system for at least two years, but it could have been there even longer — five or six years possibly.”