Updated: Friday, 13 December 2013 19:23 | By Agence France-Presse

Cyclist Froome says battle with parasitic illness is over

Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome has revealed that he has recovered from a parasitic illness that had plagued him for over four years.


Cyclist Froome says battle with parasitic illness is over

Chris Froome on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after winning the 2013 Tour de France on July 21, 2013

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 it 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."

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