Chris Froome is set to begin his 2018 season ©Getty Images

Britain's Chris Froome will begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol despite the ongoing case following the cyclist's positive test at the Vuelta a España last year.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced in December that the Team Sky rider had failed for asthma medication salbutamol at the Spanish Grand Tour.

Froome had won the race, completing a historic double after clinching a fourth Tour de France title earlier in the season.

He was found to have had twice the permitted 1,000 nanograms per millilitre concentration in his sample but has denied any wrongdoing and has not been suspended.

Due to the positive test being for a specified substance, which could be consumed for a purpose other than performance enhancement, Froome is not subject to mandatory provisional suspension.

This compares to a non-specified substance, where a provisional suspension would be imposed.

Salbutamol can be taken without the need for a Therapeutic Use Exemption - in which an athlete receives medical permission to take an otherwise banned substance - so long as the legal limit is not exceeded.

Froome has always denied wrongdoing, with the Briton claiming that he upped his dosage on the advice of his team doctor after his asthma got worse mid-race.

He would be in line to lose his Vuelta title if found guilty of an offence.

Team Sky have confirmed Froome will begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol stage race, which will begin in Andalucia, Spain, tomorrow.

Froome has claimed he is looking to "move things forward as quickly as possible" as he looks to begin his season.

"I'm confident that we will be able to get to the bottom of what has happened and I'm working hard with the team to do that," he told the Team Sky website.

"Obviously I understand that this situation has created a lot of uncertainty.

"I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation.

"I hope that people will appreciate there are limits to what I can say whilst the process is still ongoing but no-one is keener than me to move things forward as quickly as possible."

Team Sky have continued to back Froome and have opted against suspending the four-time Tour de France champion while the process continues.

"We all recognise that these are difficult circumstances but it's important for all sides that this process is conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached," said Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal.

"It is a complex situation but we're working as hard as we can with Chris to resolve things as soon as possible."

The decision not to suspend Froome has caused controversy.

UCI President David Lappartient claimed Team Sky should suspend the rider to Le Telegramme last month, although the organisation has not acted itself.

Froome denied reports that he was ready to accept a six-month ban in an "acceptance of consequences" deal.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed the case could be heard by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Froome has expressed his aim to compete in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year.