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.”
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.