Simon Yates is free to compete despite the confirmation on Thursday that he used asthma drug Terbutaline without permission during the Paris-Nice stage race in March. Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, says that the nature of the substance does not require a provisional suspension.
The Daily Mail reported yesterday that the 23-year-old Englishman failed a test for Terbutaline. Australian WorldTour team Orica-GreenEdge confirmed the anti-doping test result and that it had made an error in not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). With a TUE, a rider may freely use the substance.
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Yates’s test results in Paris-Nice on March 12 showed traces of Terbutaline, a beta-2 agonist for the treatment of asthma. He finished the race seventh overall behind winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirms that British rider Simon Yates has been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Terbutaline,” said the governing body.
“As per the UCI’s Anti-Doping Rules, such substance does not entail the imposition of a provisional suspension.”
Yates, from Bury, may request the testing of the B sample. It is unclear if he will since Orica said in a press release “the substance was given in an ongoing treatment of [a] documented asthma problem.” If needed, the Legal Anti-Doping Services will contact Yates and organise the opening of the sample.
The legal service will examine the case and supply information to all parties, including team Orica and the UCI’s legal counsel. The legal service and the UCI could agree on a warning or some other type of reaction, or ask the UCI Anti-Doping Commission to do so.
Rugby Union player Scott MacLeod faced a similar Terbutaline situation in 2008 and was cleared of an anti-doping violation. In 2015, Norwegian cyclist Vegard Robinson Bugge received a four-month ban for using Terbutaline.
Orica said that the team doctor made an error in not applying for a TUE and that it takes responsibility for the case.
“We really said it all in the press release,”Orica General Manager Shayne Bannan told Cycling Weekly. He was on the way this morning to the start of the Tour of Yorkshire, where Yates’s twin bother Adam is racing.
“We are going through the process with the UCI and we need to get all the facts together. There is a big care factor here, we are supportive of Simon, and Adam his brother.
“The team [here in Yorkshire] realise what is going on with Simon, and Adam his brother is dealing with it. They realise that the race is starting today and they need to get out there and do their job.”