Orica-GreenEdge take responsibility for Simon Yates' positive test

Australian team says doctor who supplied Yates with Asthma medication failed to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption

19 July 2014 101st Tour de France Stage 14 : Grenoble - Risoul YATES Simon (GBR) Orica - GreenEDGE Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Orica-GreenEdge have taken responsibility for Simon Yates' positive test, which they confirmed was for the substance Terbutaline and was discovered during an in-competition test on stage six of the 2016 Paris-Nice.

The Australian team said that the substance, which is used as a reliever for symptoms of asthma, was properly administered by a team doctor in the form of an inhaler, but a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was not obtained from the UCI.

The news of the 23-year-old Brit's failed test broke on Thursday night, with Orica quick to release a statement stating that "there has been no wrong-doing on Simon Yates’ part" and expressed severe concerns over the leak of the information.

The statement read:

"On April 22, the team was notified that Simon Yates has an adverse analytical finding from a test conducted at Paris-Nice, stage 6 on March 12, 2016.

"The positive result is for the substance Terbutaline.

"The substance was given to Simon Yates in the form an asthma inhaler and accordingly, this was noted by the team doctor on the Doping Control Form, signed at the time of the test.

"The substance was given in an ongoing treatment of Simon Yates’ documented asthma problems. However, in this case the team doctor made an administrative error by failing to apply for the TUE required for the use of this treatment.

"The use of Terbutaline without a current TUE is the reason it has been flagged as an adverse analytical finding. This is solely based on a human error that the doctor in question has taken full responsibility for.

"There has been no wrong-doing on Simon Yates’ part. The team takes full responsibility for this mistake and wishes to underline their support for Simon during this process.

"The team is concerned by the leak of this information and has no further comments until there has been a full evaluation made of the documentation, statements and evidence that the team and Simon Yates are now submitting to the UCI in order to clarify everything."

Yates posted a seventh place finish in the overall classification at this year's Paris-Nice, but pulled out of the Tour of the Basque Country in late April and missed all of the Ardennes Classics.

The news of the test comes in a bad week for British Cycling, which has seen technical director Shane Sutton resign from his position just 100 days before the Olympic Games.

A similar situation to Yates' in which a doctor forgot to apply for the same prohibited substance took place in 2008, with Rugby Union player Scott MacLeod at the centre of the story.

MacLeod was cleared of an anti-doping violation in that case, with an independent judicial hearing ruling that the absence of a TUE was "entirely inadvertent" due to his status as long-time sufferer of severe asthma.

Richard Windsor
Richard Windsor

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.


An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL7 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).