Simon Yates’s team, Orica-GreenEdge, has blamed British Cycling for leaking the news of the rider’s positive test at Paris-Nice. The team’s owner, Gerry Ryan, said that he was disappointed Yates hadn’t been given an opportunity to put his case forward.
In a statement, the team said that the 23-year-old had been using Terbutaline, the substance detected, to treat asthma, but the team doctor had failed to apply for a therapeutic use exemption. They are therefore adamant that the positive test amounts to little more than an administrative error.
Either way, The Guardian reports that Ryan is unhappy with how the news emerged.
“Three days ago, someone within British Cycling told an Australian friend of mine that there’s a rider who tested positive. I’m disappointed that Simon hasn’t had the opportunity to put his case forward. I’m disappointed at British Cycling to leak that Simon has tested positive before the case has been heard and there hasn’t been a B-sample.
“When I was president of CA [Cycling Australia], myself and the CEO would go through the due process. You’ve got to go through the due process and allow the rider to present his case and the statements from the doctor.”
Many athletes have a form of asthma known as exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) and in fact the prevalence of asthma/EIB in elite athletes (21%) is reported to be more than double that of the UK general population (9%). John Dickinson, Head of the Respiratory Clinic and Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent, has written about the issue and about terbutaline in particular in response to the Yates case.
Yates is not currently suspended from racing. A statement from the UCI said: “As per the UCI’s anti-doping rules, such [a] substance does not entail the imposition of a provisional suspension. The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.”