Volta a Portugal’s best young rider, 21-year-old Xubán Errazkín, in trouble for asthma drug use

Errazkín is not suspended, but the case is reportedly under review

Basque cyclist Xubán Errazkín, 21, won the youth classification in the Volta a Portugal but faces trouble following the results of anti-doping tests which showed him using asthma drug terbutaline.

Terbutaline is allowed with a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) served a four-month suspension after he was shown to have used the asthma drug in the 2016 Paris-Nice and failed to have a TUE.

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Errazkín races for Portuguese team Vito-Feirense-BlackJack. Portuguese daily, Record, has reported he tested with the substance twice in June at the Gran Premio Abimota stage race, where he won stage four.

In the Volta a Portugal, he finished 16th overall and won the young rider classification. It is unclear if he had a TUE certificate or not for the Gran Premio Abimota stage race.

“Both my team and me decided to send all the necessary documentation before I was personally notified of the positive,” Errazkín told Sprint Final. “In addition, I have been using an asthma treatment for several years and there have never been any similar problems.”

The UCI and national federations have yet to comment. Errazkín is not suspended, but the case is reportedly under review.

Unlike the asthma drug salbutamol, which caused trouble for Chris Froome at the 2017 Vuelta a España, terbutaline must be used with a certificate. Salbutamol does not require a TUE certificate but riders cannot exceed certain limits.

Spain overlooked Errazkín for the Tour de l’Avenir, starting Friday. The investigation could be the reason they left one of their top cyclists at home.

“I spoke with him long ago to tell him to prepare for it [l’Avenir], I wanted him to be ready,” Team Director Pascual Momparler told Cycle 21. “But Errazkín has told me that he was not going to race and has raced in Portugal instead.”