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Michael Ellerton had used friend's medication to treat mouth ulcers; UKAD says anti-doping rule violation was "involuntary"...

A 55-year-old amateur cyclist from Burnley has been banned from all sport for two years after testing positive for banned substances that he said were contained in medication given to him by a friend before a race to treat his mouth ulcers.

Michael Ellerton, from Burnley, tested positive for the glucocorticoids prednisone and prednisolone following an in-competition test at the Port Talbot Wheelers Cycling Club’s 25 Mile Time Trial on 11 September 2016, organised under Cycling Time Trials (CTT) rules.

UK Anti-doping (UKAD) says that “Glucocorticoids are currently prohibited in-competition, when administered by a systemic route of administration (orally, rectally, intravenously or intramuscularly),” but “are permitted out-of-competition regardless of the route of administration.”

Ellerton, who was a member of the North Yorkshire-based Team Swift Cycling, said a friend had given him a packet of ten 5mg Prednisolone Tablets to treat his mouth ulcers and that he took two a day for five days in the lead-up to the event.

As a national- rather than international-level athlete, UKAD invited him to apply for a retrospective Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) but when he did so, its TUE Committee held that he did not meet the conditions for one to be issued.

In its decision, the TUE Committee said:

(a) The TUE Committee are unable to approve TUEs for Athletes who have self-medicated using

another person’s prescription medication,

(b) the Athlete did not seek medical advice prior to using the drugs.

(c) There is no evidence to show that the athlete would experience a significant impairment to

health if the Prohibited Substance been withheld.

(d) There are permitted therapeutic alternatives

(e) Glucocorticoids have the potential to performance enhance.

UKAD accepted that his committing an anti-doping rule violation was not intentional and was out-of-competition which, together with his prompt admission, led to him being banned him for two years, instead of the maximum four that would otherwise have applied.

It noted however that he had “used the medication without undertaking any research into its ingredients or any further checks,” including that he “failed to conduct any rudimentary internet research into the medication.”

The ban was backdated to 11 September 2016, the date of the positive test, and will expire at midnight on 10 September 2018.

UKAD Director of Operations, Pat Myhill said: “The World Anti-Doping Code is based on the principle of strict liability – every athlete, no matter what level, is solely responsible for any prohibited substance which is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was an intention to cheat or not.

“Athletes can easily check the prohibited status of medications before use by visiting Global DRO,” he added.

While Ellerton’s anti-doping rule violation was held to have been unintentional, UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead has expressed in recent days her concerns over doping among amateur athletes.

Responding the findings of a BBC Sport survey of amateur sportsmen and women, she said that doping in amateur sport as a whole is “becoming a crisis.”

> Doping in amateur sport “becoming a crisis” says UK Anti-doping boss

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.

41 comments

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 10 months ago
12 likes

Just happened to have a mouth ulcer that needed steroids twice daily, in the 5 days leading to a TT crying

Who buys this shit. 

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Jackson [393 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Only one guy is allowed using oral prednisone in bike races.

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dottigirl [810 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

Just happened to have a mouth ulcer that needed steroids twice daily, in the 5 days leading to a TT crying

Who buys this shit. 

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I do wonder who actually bought it though, and whether they cycle too.

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therevokid [1016 posts] 10 months ago
4 likes

my wife's prednisolone is prescription only !!!!

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Yorkshire wallet [1628 posts] 10 months ago
5 likes

Go to doctors? No, just borrow your mates prescriptino tablets. What could go wrong?

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Chris James [449 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes
Jackson wrote:

Only one guy is allowed using oral prednisone in bike races.

I have asthma and sometime get mouth ulcers. I've never taken prednisolone for mouth ulcers, I usually ignore them or maybe use bonjela.

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thelighterthief [45 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I use bonjela. Had i known i could take steroids instead... no hang on. Its a mouth ulcer. 

Could riders, oh i don't know, maybe not ride if they are ill?

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Broady. [99 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

BANNED FROM ALL SPORT.

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Jimmy Ray Will [827 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

You cynical lot...

 

The guys 55, hes riding club TT's... it really doesn't matter. 

 

 

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes

Methinks Jimmy is over 50..

 

You on the 'roids there Jim? On the gas son? Who's your source, you hook me up? smiley

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TheDoctor [254 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

With ukad constantly bemoaning their funding, this is a colossal waste of resources by them!

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700c [1175 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Like everyone I'm sceptical about the riders intentions here (steroids for a mouth ulcer?!)

I was also interested in what was really meant by 'banning him from all sport'?!

I know British Cycling events and those goverened by 'Cycling Time Trials' can be  in scope for anti doping controls, as they sign up to UKAD principles - but it does seem a little ridiculous for middle-aged amateurs and potentially non-competitive events to be covered by this?? Is that what we're talking about here?

I get problem with youngsters in amateur sports (e.g. steroids in Rugby as highlighted by the BBC article this week), where they're not yet professional but want to be, and so under huge pressure to bulk up at a young age, but that's a little different to MAMILs and weekend warriors racing for strava kudos or whatever.

Avatar
Tjuice [243 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes
thelighterthief wrote:

I use bonjela. Had i known i could take steroids instead... no hang on. Its a mouth ulcer. 

Could riders, oh i don't know, maybe not ride if they are ill?

I'm not going to comment on the legitimacy of this rider using this particular medication.  I'm not qualified to pass judgement.

 

But wanted to make the point that mouth ulcers *can* be pretty nasty and Bonjela is absolutely useless in treating them (there's nothing active in it AFAIK).  The only thing it does is protect and potentially soothe. 

 

I am very prone to mouth ulcers, and I do need something to help the healing process.  Many people get mouth ulcers far, far worse than I do - having something to treat them can be essential for them.  I would not want to be without some form of treatment for mouth ulcers, so I can imagine the need that others might have for a treatment.  And as a general point, would seem pretty harsh to tell someone that they could not compete if they wanted to treat mouth ulcers (again, not trying to draw parallels with the particular case in the main article, but just responding to thelighterthief's point about ulcers)

 

Iglu and Bonjela are useless.  I used to use adcortyl in orabase, but this was discontinued some years ago.  Since then, the best I have found OTC is Hydrocortisone Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablets.  And yes, this is a steroid (widely used for a number of complaints). 

 

I had a quick look at the WADA banned substances list and couldn't find hydrocortisone on there, but it's a moot point for me in any case, given that I'm not even training at the moment, let alone competing!

 

Anyhow, I'll shut up now and crawl back into my cave, having waffled on in an unstructured way for far too long.

 

 

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Said, 'T juice'.

 

enlightened

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shay cycles [403 posts] 10 months ago
5 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

You cynical lot...

 

The guys 55, hes riding club TT's... it really doesn't matter. 

He was riding an open TT, not just a club TT.

It matters because we can't object to doping at one level but say it is OK at others.

It matters because Prednisolone is really quite effective at boosting performance.

It matters because some of us have always played fair and others taken advantage.

Having raced in the 70s, 80s And 90s I am well aware that this is not a new phenomenon at any level.

I have no sympathy with anyone who takes any kind of PED and gets caught, I also have no sympathy with any competitor who takes prescription medication that is not their own. If you make choices like that then you risk getting caught and if you do then accept the consequences of your own actions.

Avatar
Griffsters [33 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Not intentional? For the love of God how naive are these muppets. Some tablets his mate gave him, oh right yeah. Of course, all very normal then. 

 

 

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Colin Peyresourde [1827 posts] 10 months ago
5 likes

TJuice: if he was unwell enough to require extra strong medication then I would suggest he is better off reducing his stress levels and so competing was not a good idea.

Personally I don't buy his excuse for the above factor, and that he didn't get a prescription. If you're so unwell you need something like that wouldn't you reasonably seek medical attention?

If this was America and he had to pay to see a doctor then perhaps you could understand the need to circumvent the process from a cost point of view.

And, to the twit that thinks this sort of thing is OK, perhaps he can explain this to the relatives of any athlete who has died or suffered serious reprocussions from taking PEDs because the success of one dick eventually leads to others following - no matter what age group.

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Tjuice [243 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

Said, 'T juice'.

 

enlightened

Haha! I hadn't thought of that angle.

When I came up with that moniker some 20 years ago, the T actually stood for tomato.  I have absolutely no idea why I came up with it because I really don't like tomato juice!  But somehow it stuck with me in online forums over that time.

 

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Grahamd [820 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

If you're so unwell you need something like that wouldn't you reasonably seek medical attention?

Perhaps he was being concientous and trying to save our beleagured NHS some money 

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Nick T [1101 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Blimey Gary, I've got these killer mouth ulcers right now, doing me head in! You don't know of any miracle prescription only medication that I might be able to get without the hassle of asking my gp for it do you? You do!? And you've got some of your own that your willing to give me?! Cor, now thats a stroke alright!

Avatar
andyeb [32 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Tjuice wrote:
thelighterthief wrote:

I use bonjela. Had i known i could take steroids instead... no hang on. Its a mouth ulcer. 

Could riders, oh i don't know, maybe not ride if they are ill?

I'm not going to comment on the legitimacy of this rider using this particular medication.  I'm not qualified to pass judgement.

 

But wanted to make the point that mouth ulcers *can* be pretty nasty and Bonjela is absolutely useless in treating them (there's nothing active in it AFAIK).  The only thing it does is protect and potentially soothe. 

 

I am very prone to mouth ulcers, and I do need something to help the healing process.  Many people get mouth ulcers far, far worse than I do - having something to treat them can be essential for them.  I would not want to be without some form of treatment for mouth ulcers, so I can imagine the need that others might have for a treatment.  And as a general point, would seem pretty harsh to tell someone that they could not compete if they wanted to treat mouth ulcers (again, not trying to draw parallels with the particular case in the main article, but just responding to thelighterthief's point about ulcers)

 

Iglu and Bonjela are useless.  I used to use adcortyl in orabase, but this was discontinued some years ago.  Since then, the best I have found OTC is Hydrocortisone Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablets.  And yes, this is a steroid (widely used for a number of complaints). 

 

I had a quick look at the WADA banned substances list and couldn't find hydrocortisone on there, but it's a moot point for me in any case, given that I'm not even training at the moment, let alone competing!

 

Anyhow, I'll shut up now and crawl back into my cave, having waffled on in an unstructured way for far too long.

 

 

I'm with you - I've had mouth ulcers so bad I can't talk or eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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brooksby [2792 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

Does a two year doping ban mean that he's not allowed to dope for two years?

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Leviathan [2903 posts] 9 months ago
5 likes
dottigirl wrote:

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I have ingested a number of Toblerones; could then have a long lasting effect on my performance?

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Anthony.C [242 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

You can get drug tested at 55 years old on a club TT.....who knew ? 

Avatar
davel [2048 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Anthony.C wrote:

You can get drug tested at 55 years old on a club TT.....who knew ? 

That won't come as a surprise to many people doing Club TTs. I reckon I've done between 30-40 and never been close to being tested, but there are plenty of murmurings and rumours...

The bigger surprise to me was that you're subject to the same anti-doping rules just by being a British Cycling member, whether you race or not, though you've got a better chance of being tested if you order some dodgy steds from India that get intercepted by Customs.... http://road.cc/content/news/209429-amateur-cyclist-who-says-hes-never-ra...

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OldRidgeback [2847 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

It's interesting as I suspect there are quite  a few competitors I've been up against who have taken substances that would flash red lights in anti doping tests. It is a problem in amateur sport for sure. But perhaps this guy's mouth ulcers are so bad he needs steroids. And perhaps competing in cycling events is one of the things that helps him live his daily life. As a middle aged rider the long term health issues regarding steroid use would not be so serious as for a younger rider, whether not the use was intentional or unintential. However UKAD seems pretty sure the use was uninentional at least so I'll side with that viewpoint.

I've not seen any dope testing in any of the events I've competed in though i do suspect a few, as I've said.

Avatar
FrankH [79 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

If you're so unwell you need something like that wouldn't you reasonably seek medical attention?

Perhaps he was being concientous and trying to save our beleagured NHS some money 

Or perhaps "his mate" gets free prescriptions and he was trying to save himself some money.

On the subject of performance enhancement: I'm currently taking prednisolone for a medical problem and it's a struggle to do just one mile on the rollers. If the drugs are enhancing my performance I dread to think what it would be unenhanced.

Avatar
Anthony.C [242 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Maybe you have been using them too long, a quick google reveals this...  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805102

Avatar
mbrads72 [219 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
shay cycles wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

You cynical lot...

 

The guys 55, hes riding club TT's... it really doesn't matter. 

He was riding an open TT, not just a club TT.

It matters because we can't object to doping at one level but say it is OK at others.

It matters because Prednisolone is really quite effective at boosting performance.

It matters because some of us have always played fair and others taken advantage.

It matters because he was 10th overall in a fast event on a fast course, and although I can't now find my results/prizes email he may well have taken prize money off a fellow V5.

davel wrote:
Anthony.C wrote:

You can get drug tested at 55 years old on a club TT.....who knew ? 

That won't come as a surprise to many people doing Club TTs. I reckon I've done between 30-40 and never been close to being tested, but there are plenty of murmurings and rumours...

Clubmates of mine have been tested. The new 'sign out' rule is at least partly to stop people not returning to HQ after the event and then potentially 'not knowing' they had been selected for testing.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1628 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Real men put salt on ulcers. It's the medical equivalent of eating spicy food.

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