Home
Rider tested positive for almost twice permitted amount of anti-asthma drug at last year's race...

Diego Ulissi, winner of two stages at last year’s Giro d’Italia, has received a nine-month ban after testing positive for excessive quantities of the anti-asthma drug, salbutamol.

According to a statement from his Lampre Merida team, the Swiss Olympic Association accepted that there was no deliberate intention to dope on the part of Ulissi, who is a resident of Switzerland and races under a licence issued by its national federation.

The team said it wanted "to stress the fact that it has been confirmed by the Swiss anti doping that the athlete acted negligently without having any intentions of improving his athletic performance."

It added: "In light of this, the team would like to expresses theirsupport to the athlete, while at the same time take a few days to evaluate the situation with more precision together with the medical staff."

Ulissi said: "Finally a decision has come today after a long and difficult period for me. I feel it is important to underline the recognition that I have not acted with the intent to improve my athletic performance, but it has been established that I committed negligently, which of course I regret, especially for the corresponding damage which has been caused to the team.

"I have always received great support from the team as well as from my family who have constantly stayed close to me throughout these difficult times.

"I am pleased that, in the light of this decision, my victories and results obtained remain unchanged. I can now start to concentrate and look forward to planning my return to racing”.

The sanction includes the period in which Ulissi was provisionally suspended, meaning he will be free to return to racing from 28 March, in time for the Ardennes Classics and this year’s Giro.

The 25-year-old Italian and his Lampre Merida team, which announced in June last year that he had tested positive for almost twice the permitted amount of the substance, have consistently insisted he is innocent of doping.

He had already won the fifth and eighth stages of the race when, following Stage 11, he provided a sample that showed 1900 ng/ml of salbutamol in his urine.

The permitted threshold is 1000 ng/ml, and both the rider and his team maintained he had followed correct procedure in notifying the anti-doping authorities of the nature and amount of the medication he had taken that day.

Last month, we reported on a University of Kent study which found a high prevalence of exercise-induced asthma among elite athletes, and that one in three Team Sky riders have asthma.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

10 comments

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Just for the record Salbutamol will only 'work' on people who have asthma; it is not thought to have any performance enhancing potential.

Avatar
crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

Just for the record Salbutamol will only 'work' on people who have asthma; it is not thought to have any performance enhancing potential.

You might want to look at the anabolic effects of salbutamol and other similar drugs. People are not using them only as bronchodilators...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9JLiJcjdqkcC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=s...

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

What this article means when it says, "orally" is tablet form. I will have a look at a BNF but Salbutamol is usually "inhaled" via an inhaler as stated in the article, with no anabolic effect. I did not even know that you could get salbutamol in tablet form!

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I will have a better read of the article tomorrow  37 Looks like a good read!

Avatar
Must be Mad [628 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Before inhalers came alone, then we had to take tablets instead (Not sure if they contained Salbutamol, it was 25 years ago now).

Back than, you would take the tablet, and then wait half an hour for a very week effect. Ashtma used to be a really debilitating until the inhalers were invented.

Incidentally, the first inhalers did give a noticeable 'performance' boost, which lasted several minutes, although the modern inhalers seem to have brought that under control.

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
crikey wrote:
Quote:

Just for the record Salbutamol will only 'work' on people who have asthma; it is not thought to have any performance enhancing potential.

You might want to look at the anabolic effects of salbutamol and other similar drugs. People are not using them only as bronchodilators...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9JLiJcjdqkcC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=s...

Salbutamol in tablet form is still available as a prescription drug in this country, but 'inhaled' salbutamol is described as the preferred method as it is more effective. Anyone taking a less effective form of medication (with its anabolic side effect) should have some explaining to do? But of course, the next question is how do you know if they have inhaled or ingested?

Avatar
antonio [1168 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

An attempted whitewash that comes out grey.

Avatar
crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd be a lot more interested in which (registered, accountable) doctor wrote the prescription, and which (registered, accountable) pharmacist dispensed it, and what investigations were carried out to determine the extent of any illness or disease.

The way to combat doping in cycling is probably not to chase dopey cyclists but look at the people behind it, make them answerable, make them justify their behaviour...

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
crikey wrote:

I'd be a lot more interested in which (registered, accountable) doctor wrote the prescription, and which (registered, accountable) pharmacist dispensed it, and what investigations were carried out to determine the extent of any illness or disease.

The way to combat doping in cycling is probably not to chase dopey cyclists but look at the people behind it, make them answerable, make them justify their behaviour...

Different countries different rules crikey; George Hincapie stated in his book, 'The Loyal Lieutenant' that he purchased EPO over the counter, no prescription in Switzerland. Until 2012 you could legally purchase anabolic steroids online in the UK from other countries,for your own use. At the moment you can go abroad purchase them and bring them back into the UK legally, own use, sell them on, 14 years. The more I learn about ped's the more I understand how Michelle Ferrari earned his $1M per year retainer (allegedly). Hellish complicated, but if you can buy EPO in Switzerland without prescription then oral Salbutamol is probably on buy one get one free!

Avatar
manmachine [101 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
SideBurn wrote:

Just for the record Salbutamol will only 'work' on people who have asthma; it is not thought to have any performance enhancing potential.

Well, for the record...it works extremely well when used in a Stack. Since microdosing is the way now, it may have bumped his performance a bit, though nothing as in the past...