Steve Cummings has said that his therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate for salbutamol was for the treatment of asthma.
Cummings’s TUE was published online by Russian hacking group Fancy Bears on Friday, and relates to the administration of salbutamol via inhalation for 12 months from December 10 2008. TUEs are issued when an athlete has to take a prohibited substance for a legitimate medical reason.
“The TUE for a salbutamol inhaler was granted following a positive diagnostic test which had to be submitted to the relevant anti-doping authorities,” said the 35-year-old Dimension Data rider.
“As with many other athletes I continue to use this medication when needed to treat my condition, however, a TUE is no longer required for its use since it is now widely acknowledged it has no performance-enhancing effect, merely relieves symptoms and those who need to use it for genuine medical reasons.”
Salbutamol is currently not on the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s prohibited substances list, although there is a limit to the amount an athlete can take in a given period. According to WADA’s regulations, inhaled salbutamol can be taken by athletes up to 1600 micrograms over 24 hours. An amount of salbutamol taken by an athlete above that threshold could trigger an adverse analytical finding in a sample.
The WADA list states: “The presence in urine of salbutamol in excess of 1000 ng/mL or formoterol in excess of 40 ng/mL is presumed not to be an intended therapeutic use of the substance and will be considered as an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) unless the Athlete proves, through a controlled pharmacokinetic study, that the abnormal result was the consequence of the use of the therapeutic inhaled dose up to the maximum indicated above.”
Salbutamol was removed from WADA’s banned list for 2010, and at that time WADA stated: “Following several years of practice and consideration of all relevant information from stakeholders and others, WADA’s List Committee recommended a change for the status of the beta-2 agonist salbutamol – a substance listed as a specified substance in the 2009 List.
“Over the past few years, almost all cases where salbutamol has been detected were covered by Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). In the 2010 List, therapeutic use of inhaled salbutamol will not be prohibited and will therefore no longer require a TUE. For monitoring purposes, athletes using inhaled salbutamol will be required to declare their use on the Doping Control Form when they are tested.”
As with other TUEs published by Fancy Bears, there is no indication of wrongdoing by Cummings. British riders Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Laura Trott and Callum Skinner are among the other athletes from a varierty of nations to have their TUEs published.
Fancy Bears accessed WADA’s confidential computer files illegally, downloading historic TUEs for athletes attending the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It has been publishing them in batches during September. Fancy Bears says that it ‘stands for fair play and clean sport’.