Chris Froome has urged the president of world cycling’s governing body to talk to him directly about the ongoing salbutamol investigation rather than address the issue in public.

Froome, a four-time Tour de France champion, returned an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug at the Vuelta a Espana in September – a race he won in an historic Tour-Vuelta double.

The 32-year-old Team Sky rider is involved in a legal and scientific wrangle with the UCI’s independent anti-doping unit about how that finding happened, insisting there has been no wrongdoing on his or the team’s part.

On Wednesday, UCI president David Lappartient told the BBC it would be “a disaster for the image of cycling” if Froome rode in the Tour de France without his case being resolved.

The investigation is ongoing and Froome continues to compete, currently doing so at the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy. He intends to ride May’s Giro d’Italia and this summer’s Tour de France.

Speaking about Lappartient, Froome told “I saw his comments yesterday and I think what I would say is that I’m doing my best to follow the due process here, in this matter.

“I get that it’s a difficult situation, this was obviously meant to have been a confidential UCI process but this was made public, so that changes things.

“Given his concern for the reputation of the sport, I think it would be more sensible of him to raise his concerns in person or at least though the right channels as opposed to through the media.

“I’m obviously doing everything I can to get this resolved as quickly as possible, and just trying to keep my head down.”

Lappartient made his comments about Froome during an interview which followed the publication of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee report this week that focused on fighting doping in sport and disclosed various findings about professional cycling in Britain.

Froome’s case did not form part of the report.