Simon Yates (Orica Greenedge)  pictured during pictured during stage 8 of the 67th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine Libere, June 14, 2015. Photo: VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2015
  • Michele

    Quick Simon – get the Tyler defense going. Blame it on the twin.

    • Sean

      He’d need a disappearing twin.

      • donncha

        Nice :D

      • jules

        can be arranged :)

        • Dave

          It should be pretty easy, thankfully he’s a weedy little climber and not a big scary track sprinter like Matt Glaetzer.

          • jules

            would take them longer to chase him down though, Glaetzer would run out of puff quickly

            • Dave

              Longer chase or the chance of having your limbs pulled off and put back together in the wrong arrangement? I know which one I’d pick.

  • jules

    ok so this is pretty big.

    • Stompin

      … er, just a tad!

    • Michele

      Has the potential for huge huge ramifications. Not just in the UK, but in AUS as well.

      If it’s a “proper”positive, expect the proverbial to hit the fan – especially in the UK.

      • jules

        OGE’s anti-doping record is looking a bit shaky(ier) at present. withdrawing from MPCC not great either.

        • Michele

          Well they’ve progressed on from blaming the pharmacist. Doctor’s fault this time. ?

          • jules

            hmm.. just read OGE’s statement: http://www.greenedgecycling.com/news/statement-regarding-simon-yates-adverse-analytical-finding.phps

            I’ll wait for further information and analysis – but in fairness, on face value, this does appear to be a relatively minor infraction.

            • Nathan

              If they were hiding something, why would they mention it in the declaration at the time of testing? Stupid mistakes do happen. i agree, seems a storm in a tea cup….but that said, it may still result in a ban being enforced due to strict liability. Time will tell.

          • Sean parker

            It’s the rider’s responsibility to ensure that a TUE is in place before using the drug and competing.

            If the carrier pigeon died on the way to the UCI then it ids Yates’ fault for assuming that the TUE was in place.

      • steven mclean

        Surely bigger in Aus, and only in GB because of spin. When was the last time he was trained in the UK, specifically by team GB coaches? He’s been an Orica rider for 2 years now. This is an Orica issue.

        • Michele

          Exactly, because of the spin.

          Still a big, big issue for OGE. But the knee-jerk reaction to this by UK authorities has the potential to withdraw / minimise funding.

        • jules

          OGE have taken responsibility, sort of.

          • Dave

            It’s not their responsibility to take.

        • Dave

          I do recall that he is part of their Olympic program. Or was until a few hours ago at least.

  • Michael Sproul

    Was just about to ponder if he’d “do an Impey”, article ruined it for me!

  • Stompin

    Its incredible how many athletes have asthma.

    • winkybiker

      Yes, and that they are able to push through such a physiological disadvantage to ride at a level of performance that is incomprehensible to we mere mortals is truly impressive.

      • Stompin

        Indeed.

    • Andy B

      I convinced myself one time that I have asthma as i was breathing hard during an effort
      Googling this only confirmed my suspicions

      “Shortness of breath” yep that’s me

    • Freddy Franks

      “Excercise induced asthma” is actually a thing, google it.

      Quite common in the bunches I travel in to have a few cats heaving and coughing after intense efforts. It can also be difficult to inhale deeply.

      That is exercise induced asthma, friends.

      • Stompin

        Google contains lot’s of information, not always accurate, some of it very entertaining.

      • donncha

        So how do you distinguish exercise induced asthma from unfitness… ??

        • Dave

          You get a note from your team doctor Geert or your big boss man Brian that says you’ve got exercise induced asthma. If you’re just unfit, a bloke named Sir Dave or Shane will make it abundantly clear :D

          ——–

          I don’t know if it still is used, but one of the tests they used to do for asthma was to measure peak exhalation flow, give you a couple of puffs on one of those medications thought to be ineffective for people without asthma, and then measure peak exhalation flow again a few minutes later.

          If there was an improvement after using the medication, it would point in favour of making a diagnosis.

        • Warren J

          Couple of ways. You can do an spirometry / expiratory flow test before and after an effort in thr lab, or before and after inhaling metacholine or a dry air trigger, looking for reduced breath flow indicative of bronchi construction. There’s journals and journals on this stuff.

          As I understand it, Yates has his asthma already tested and proven and other treatments approved with a TUE. The doctor stuffed up and missed applying for TUE for this specific inhaler.

          PS, the article about performance enhancement in the article says taking massive doses increases strength but actually decrease endurance.

          Administrative stuff up, massively, by the doctor.

      • Dave

        I presume that the riders in your bunch bring along a cat to put in an intense effort because that’s cheaper than installing a motor in their seat tube?

    • Notso Swift

      It is quite common, I never had Asthma until I got to an elite level in Rowing
      I rarely have any attacks now but it does happen occasionally on the bike, when your respiratory system goes into stress you can have spasms, there is no performance enhancing benefit, it just stops the negative (ie Not breathing)

      • Dave

        Covering for a lack of fitness sounds like a pretty good performance enhancement to me!

      • Stompin
      • Sean parker

        Terbutaline does have sustained ergogenic properties, consistent with its pharmacological effect.

    • Arash

      Yeah, Maria Sharapova has had heart problems and diabetes potential too!

  • Andy B

    seems like a simple mistake
    like accidentally picking up the wrong spare bike fitted with a motor, its easy to do

    In all honesty it must be hard being a doctor given the number of banned substances and minefield of making sure everything is fine for every rider

    If he has a documented history of asthma and this genuinely helps treat that they should be fair on it
    obviously through so many crazy stories its hard to believe anything now

    • jules

      I don’t know how I feel. on the one hand, it’s probably an administrative error.

      on the other, is the administrative process just there to legalise doping? I don’t know.

      there are a suspiciously high number of pro athletes who suffer from exercise-induced asthma. but then, maybe there’s a medical explanation for that?

      • Neuron1

        Jules, there is no TUE possible for terbutaline. It is outright prohibited in cycling, by all the doping agencies.

        • Dave

          It being prohibited is why you need an exemption.

          “Terbutaline or other Beta-2 Agonist
          If you take terbutaline or any other beta-2 agonist for the treatment of asthma, you must submit a TUE request for asthma and your full medical file through ADAMS to confirm the diagnosis of asthma and/or its clinical variants.
          The medical file should include:
          – A detailed medical history and clinical review;
          – Lung function test with spirometry;
          – Bronchodilator response;
          – Bronchial provocation tests.”

          Source: http://www.uci.ch/clean-sport/therapeutic-use-exemptions/

        • jules
          • Dave

            Also on the UCI website, about two thirds down their TUE page.

            http://www.uci.ch/clean-sport/therapeutic-use-exemptions/

            • Neuron1

              From the same site:

              3. When shall I apply to the UCI for a TUE?

              A Rider who needs a TUE should apply as soon as the need arises, unless exceptional circumstances or true emergencies exist.

              For substances prohibited In-Competition only, the Rider should apply for a TUE at least 30 days before his/her next Competition, unless exceptional circumstances or true emergencies exist.

              The Rider should apply to the UCI, using the TUE application form available on ADAMS. Please refer to section 6 below for further information on the TUE application process.

              4. Conditions for Granting TUE

              Article 4.1- UCI Regulations for TUE

              A Rider may be granted a TUE if (and only if) he/she can show that each of the following conditions is met:

              a. The Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method in question is needed to treat an acute or chronic medical condition, such that the Rider would experience a significant impairment to health if the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method were to be withheld.

              b. The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is highly unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond what might be anticipated by a return to the Rider’s normal state of health following the treatment of the acute or chronic medical condition.

              c. There is no reasonable Therapeutic alternative to the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.

              d. The necessity for the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use (without a TUE) of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of such Use.

              [Comment to 4.1: The WADA documents titled “Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs”, posted on WADA’s website, can be used to assist in the application of these criteria in relation to particular medical conditions.]

              • Dave

                This is an excellent quote for showing that exemptions may be granted to allow the medical use of otherwise prohibited substances. ?

                • Neuron1

                  One needs to read the entire text. Part a implies that there must be a diagnosis consistent with the medication. Part b states that there must not be a possible additional enhancement from the drug. And Part c says there should be no reasonable alternative. Inhaled albuterol is a good alternative along with a list of longer acting drugs.

                  However, all of this is moot since he did not have a valid TUE. You can pontificate about the use of whatever Beta 2 agonist you want, and try to defend the indefensible by changing the topic of the debate. But the fact is he did not apply 30 days prior to competing as it seems to be required, and it was not a medical emergency. He did not have a valid TUE so the drug is prohibited.
                  I’m not against OGE here and not against Yates, just arguing for consistency and fairness, which does’t seem to be an accepted norn on this comment board. If he were anything but a Brit, Aussie or New Zealander you would be collectively attacking the “filthy doper” and trying to run him out of the peloton. No explanations would be accepted.

            • Neuron1

              In this day and age the use of terbutaline is very limited, at least in medically advanced nations. I have not seen a patient on terbutaline in at least 20 years where I practice here in the USA. Albuterol and the newer drugs are the standards. Terbutaline has “other uses” as in 4c, below. And finally, they did not submit the proper paperwork. If you don’t have a TUE, the drug is prohibited. That is pretty clear. So in his case, he had the drug in his system, there was no TUE.

              • jules

                it’s not disputed that he had no TUE. thanks for info on medical applicability – doesn’t make his use look legit does it?

              • slartiblartfast

                Terbutaline is a commonly used beta agonist in Australia. It is very similar to salbutamol and, like salbutamol, is available as an inhaler either over the counter for emergency use or on prescription. I would write prescriptions for terbutaline every week and regard Australia as a medically advanced nation. Assuming the Yates’ level of terbutaline was consistent with a therapeutic dosage, the only issue is that he had no TUE. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

    • Feral

      ‘It must be hard being a (pro team) doctor’. You’ve got to be kidding. It’s their job to know which drugs are banned, which drugs require an exemption etc. It’s not bloody rocket science and this doctor has messed up – big time. Yates isn’t blameless either. All athletes should have some idea of WADAs list of banned substances.

    • Sean parker

      I’m sure it is difficult being a team doctor. which is why they undergo a 6 year undergraduate degree and a postgraduate qualification in sports medicine.

      Which baffles me why I can find the WADA website banned substances in 10 seconds and, not being a doctor, realise that a common asthma control medication is on it.

      there is nothing difficult in realising that terbutaline needs a TUE – it is not some obscure renal drug, it is a very common GP prescribed medication.

      Blaming the doctor for an administrative error does not absolve the athlete in his responsibility to enbsure he has a TUE in place before using a new medication.

      • Dave

        Even if it was some obscure drug only approved in Russia, that’s what the list is for.

  • Craig

    I generally follow CyclingTips, and appreciate the news and opinions posted. In this case, I’m inclined to think that the headline and subsequent story were a little off the mark. You did include part of the statement from OGE, which is nice (but a bit late, especially for those who only read headlines), but incomplete. But you also used the term “failed drug test”, which is not the same thing (according to WADA) as an “adverse analytical finding”, and which in fact conjures up “drug cheat” in the minds of readers. (https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/ado-testing-statistics) I’m not taking sides or preaching innocence, I’d just like to see accurate, factual, complete and unbiased reporting, where possible.

    • jules

      be kind. it’s an emerging story so info is still coming out, some of it after articles are published.

      also OGE aren’t disputing the test result, so the possibility of a follow-up analysis clearing him is moot.

      • Dave

        Yeah. It looks like they are repeating the strategy which was successful when Daryl Impey tripped the dope-o-meter a couple of years ago in hope of a reduced sanction or a complete reprieve.

        It will be interesting to see if it continues to work as well now that sanctioning is handled by the UCI instead of national bodies and they have an ample supply of other issues which could do with a ‘look at us, we’re Tough On Doping™’ distraction. I reckon it’s a slim chance, the Impey case was a major factor in provoking the to take over sanctioning.

    • H.E. Pennypacker

      Respectfully, I disagree that there’s anything inaccurate or misleading here. What’s common parlance for a “WADA adverse analytical finding”? Answer: failed drug test. I’m all for arguing semantics when the difference is substantive, but that’s not the case in this instance

    • Andy B

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clickbait

      Its how the internet needs to work now

    • Craig

      I’m just saying I think headline such as this would have been more appropriate: “Simon Yates returns adverse analytical finding; further details to be released as available; case unrelated to crisis in British cycling”. In fact, adverse analytical findings (AAF’s) occur regularly . . . but with an explanation as to why, there is no story. Assuming (in this case) the given explanation is also true, had Yates’ doctor applied for the TUE as he was supposed to, there would still have been the same AAF, but no story. The story here (unrelated to the “crisis” in British cycling) is that the AAF was unexplained, and then reported as a “failed drug test” (not just here, but by many online news outlets). I think in the minds of many fans, “adverse analytical finding” will have vastly different connotations to “failed drug test”, and thus the difference in parlance IS substantive (or at least worthy of clarification by the reporter). Again, I’m not defending Yates, OGE or WADA, nor attacking Cycling Tips or their reporters . . . just suggesting accuracy and clarity. :-) (I agree with your point also, Jules . . . it’s not in dispute that there was indeed an AAF. It’s just a question of now following due process, what that will mean, and for whom.)

      • Dave

        That’s closer to an opening paragraph, not a headline. Speaking of paragraphs, use them.

        The headline is fine, there was a failed/positive drug test and it does reflect very badly on British Cycling at a time they really can’t afford it. Whether it’s related to the rift developing between the female riders and Sutton/Brailsford/Cookson or not is immaterial when it comes to sponsors assessing whether it would be a positive thing to renew their contracts.

    • donncha

      Presence of banned drug in system is surely the exact definition of “failed drug test”. “Adverse analytical finding” is just management speak.

      • Dave

        The technical term does exist for a reason – to distinguish analytical findings from other types of test failure such as missing a test, dropping the cup on the floor etc.

        • donncha

          Yep, sure, but it does actually mean that you failed the drug test, i.e: your sample has been analysed and something that shouldn’t be there has been found.

          • Dave

            Exactly.

            Better to use ‘positive test’ than ‘failed test’ though – you get the all the specific detail of ‘adverse analytical finding’ without needing to use cumbersome technical language which belongs only in official documents.

    • Neal Rogers

      Appreciate the feedback, Craig. Points taken. The story has been updated with OGE’s statement, which wasn’t immediately available when we published. (As @disqus_bDUiSNPQWN:disqus pointed out it was a breaking story.) However, if a rider tests positive for a banned substance, and doesn’t have a current TUE for that substance, that’s a failed drug test. This is how WADA defines it: “An Adverse Analytical Finding indicates the presence of prohibited substances…these figures may contain findings that underwent the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) approval process.” Because Yates did not have a current TUE, his AAF is the equivalent to a failed drug test.

      • Dave

        It’s not just equivalent to a failed/positive test, it actually is a failed/positive test.

      • Michele

        I had no troubles with the way it was report. Read the piece as soon as it came up. Thought CT handled it well. Closing sentence in article was “OGE been approached for comment, no response YET made”, or words to that effect.
        Piece read like a ‘work in progress’ [in a kind way], and that more details would be coming soon. Nothing written in the first version has proven to be incorrect. All good with me.

  • david__g

    I really need to develop asthma…

  • roklando

    Sexism, discrimination, drugs…I think if I start thinking of pro cycling as a Mexican soap opera, it will all begin to make sense and the constant disappointment and despair will give way to fulfilling joyful entertainment.

  • Sean parker

    What were they expecting – the team to be powered by vita-brits?

    • Dave

      Careful buddy, this site is covered by Australian defamation law.

      • Sean parker

        You’re right I should change it to be less sarcastic and more opaque.

  • Chris
    • Sean parker

      mmm… actually the doctor did not make an administrative error; the rider made the error by using the product before ensuring that he had a TUE in place.

      The medication is not necessary for emergency treatment of asthma. yates could have continued using his reliever (probably salbutomol) until the TUE was in place for his reliever medication (terbutaline).

      This process must be so routine in professional sport i cannot accept that it was the doctor’s fault.

      • Arfy

        Unless OGE have proof that the team doctor specifically informed Yates that a TUE was in place, and that the team doctor is responsible for ensuring all TUEs are in place for OGE riders as a standard practice, then their argument will fall down at the first hurdle. Even then it will be up to the discretion of WADA to determine what responsibility Yates has in the whole process. The Russian saga proves they’re not stuck with the letter of the law, it’s just a matter of finding out the right trigger to get him off.

        • Sean parker

          It is the riders professional responsibility to ensure that he sights the TUE. A doctor, manager or janitor waving his hand and saying ‘all fixed mate’ is not an adequate defence.
          The ‘dodgy -doctor’ defence is a diversion away from the riders clear responsibility as a professional athlete to manage his own compliance.
          If the team procured a false document that had ‘yatesy’s TUE’ written on it with ‘all clear mate, puff away on your turbuhaler’ that would be different. This would then be a case of professional malfeasance on behalf of the doctor and team.

          I presume that an athlete receives written notice from the governing body that a TUE is in effect which is the authority to administer the drug whilst in competition.

          • Dave

            “I presume that an athlete receives written notice from the governing body that a TUE is in effect”
            Yes.

            “If the team procured a false document that had ‘yatesy’s TUE’ written on it with ‘all clear mate, puff away on your turbuhaler’ that would be different.”
            Of course. Because that would be bloody stupid when the UCI would have their own list of what TUEs they granted. They may be incompetent, but not that incompetent.

  • Superpilot

    In my mind, not filing a TUE for an otherwise banned substance isn’t a minor infraction. That should be at the forefront of administrative tasks for any team, to make sure any accusations of cheating are avoided. Especially given the sports history, and the intense scrutiny put on athletes and teams about this very issue. Imagine if he had of won the event? The mind boggles.. Worse, is that the media, the fans, then the general public link the issue with the team, which then includes others in the same articles. Even without implication, the fact that Hayman and his result, as well as Albasini and his great classics campaign are included in this article, gives people ammunition who are perhaps not sensitive to the nuances in these cases or have a personal interest in trolling or putting these guys down. It makes me hope there aren’t more missing TUE’s when the tests come through for the April races in May sometime, when yesterday I had no doubt that they had just prepared their athletes better somehow this year.. such a goddam shame.

    • jules

      I’ve read doctor’s opinions that asthma medication won’t offer much performance enhancement, if you don’t suffer from asthma.

      it’s not EPO. having said that, if he was taking it in the false or valid belief he was enhancing his performance, then it’s still doping.

      • H.E. Pennypacker

        I’ve read doctor’s opinions that tobacco smoke is not harmful to your health.

        • jules

          that’s a bit glib

      • Stompin
      • Dave

        I don’t know if it still is used, but one of the tests they used to do for asthma was to measure peak exhalation flow, give you a couple of puffs on one of those medications thought to be ineffective for people without asthma, and then measure peak exhalation flow again a few minutes later. If there was an improvement after using the medication, it would point in favour of making a diagnosis.

      • Superpilot

        Sure thing. But whether it provides enhancement or not is moot jules, its the fact the usage of such is banned that matters.
        As an asthmatic, I find with regular riding (and swimming) that I ride better without the use of meds, the training helps a lot with strengthening and regulating my breathing. When the meds do help, is in cold or dusty conditions, but this is different for everybody. Speculating, for professional cyclists, there must be certain conditions (or perhaps just the extreme level of exertion) that lead to a tense breathing platform, and the fact that you might take something that is attempting to dilate an already dilated breathing pathway under normal conditions, is outweighed by the times when that pathway would be irregularly over tensioned, such as climbing a high mountain pass with low oxygen levels, or the heavy exertion in an uphill finale. You are not enhancing your performance (it doesn’t increase your capacity to breathe), simply maintaining your performance (maintaining your ordinary capacity to breathe, when you are under the pump or other adverse conditions). But again, that is all total anecdotal BS.
        In any case, I like to complain the media and fans concentrate too much on the negative aspects of the sport, and yet, here I am! at least I put myself on the constantly hopeful side of the spectrum.
        Like your comments, always make me think, which is not so natural on a Friday.

        • Dave

          “Sure thing. But whether it provides enhancement or not is moot jules, its the fact the usage of such is banned that matters.”

          This, however, does influence what WADA bans and what they don’t. Ventolin, for example, is an asthma treatment which only benefits asthmatics (but not all asthmatics) and is therefore not banned.

          “Speculating, for professional cyclists, there must be certain conditions (or perhaps just the extreme level of exertion) that lead to a tense breathing platform, and the fact that you might take something that is attempting to dilate an already dilated breathing pathway under normal conditions, is outweighed by the times when that pathway would be irregularly over tensioned, such as climbing a high mountain pass with low oxygen levels, or the heavy exertion in an uphill finale.”

          Managing breathing is ‘part of the game’ in cycling to an extent though, no less than a fast bowler in cricket needs to manage the number of ‘effort balls’ they bowl so they can get through a match without doing a side strain.

          “You are not enhancing your performance (it doesn’t increase your capacity to breathe), simply maintaining your performance (maintaining your ordinary capacity to breathe, when you are under the pump or other adverse conditions).”

          Maintaining performance and enhancing performance are two sides of the same coin. Allowing the assistance necessary for asthmatics to maintain some of their performance is all well and good, but it needs to be balanced against making sure exemptions are not being abused.

      • Dave

        – I’ve read doctor’s opinions that asthma medication won’t offer much performance enhancement, if you don’t suffer from asthma.

        Some medications yes, some no. Ventolin, for example, is not on the banned list because it fits in that category.

      • ebbe

        From what I know, EPO has never been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance either. It could all be a placebo effect… A test (the first ever) is being conducted this summer, by a Dutch/Belgian team on actual cyclists climbing actual mountains. They were looking for participants a few months ago.

        Yet, EPO is on the naughty list and athletes are presumed to know this.

        Irrelevant factoid: I briefly considered joining that test

        • jules

          epidemiology and proof don’t really go together. anecdotally, athletes have increased their performance significantly after injecting themselves with the stuff.

          • ebbe

            Yes, they have indeed. And that’s exactly what this team is going to (try to) find out doing a properly controlled test, with actual (fit) cyclists on a controlled consistent training schedule, including a placebo control group: Were these improvements placebo effects, or not? ;-)

  • Notso Swift

    As long as the Doctor isn’t White’s old mate for Girona! LOL

  • velocite

    I would be interested to hear about OGE’s procedures in relation to TUE’s. Are they such that it is easy to administer an asthma spray without a TUE being in place? If so that would be a poor reflection on previous OGE management reviews. Also, I wonder, what is OGE’s actual attitude to doping risk within the team? Do they wish to uncover the truth or just move the offending priest to another parish? A bit more from the ‘team doctor’ would seem relevant.

    • Dave

      I don’t think it would change anyone’s attitudes about the Vance Review, simply because it has already lost all of its credibility.

      Remember that since the Vance Review we’ve had the quick reinstatement of Whitey, the exposure of O’Grady, then Impey tripping the dope-o-meter and getting away with it.

  • Neuron1

    Asthma is very common in high level athletes, greater than 50% in some studies. Terbutaline though is a very unusual drug to be using to treat asthma symptoms in this day and age, at least in the USA. It is short acting compared with the newer drugs. Questions which remain unanswered are, what was the urine level recorded? What was the reported dose and route of administration? Part of the potential issue is that terb is available as an oral and parenteral preparation which can be used for other effects than treatment of asthma, ie epinephrine like stimulation. We need more information before comming to any conclusions. I would think though that he is in for a least some suspension, if there is equal application of the rules, as we saw with Diego Ulissi. That remains to be seen though, and I have little faith in the system.

    • Dave

      Unless someone leaks them, those details won’t be made public until after the case is dealt with.

      I have faith that some suspension will get handed down here. OGE and Lampre-Merida are linked in this, by way of having been the teams involved in the cases (Impey’s complete reprieve and Ulissi’s short off-season ban) which prompted the UCI to centralise sanctioning where it was previously entrusted to national federations. They have the motive to settle that history, and also the opportunity to use it to wheel out self-congratulatory press releases when they need a distraction from the disc brake fiasco or the next rider getting mown down by a moto.

      • Neuron1

        Ulissi actually went before the UCI committe for his positive test, unlike the coverup of the Impey positive, which was a total joke. The two cases really have nothing in common. The UCI had already taken over the testing. Ulissi’s ban was back dated to the appropriate date. Impey got no suspension at all. Salbutamol is legal with a TUE, his levls were excessive. Impey had a banned, masking agent in his sample, with no TUE possible. BTW probenecid is a covering agent for the use of anabolic steroids, not that a TT rider would want to add muscle or anything while a climber would want to get super lean. http://www. cyclingweekly. co.uk/news/latest-news/diego-ulissi-banned-nine-months-doping-152990

        • Dave

          Wrong.

          From the very same article you linked…

          “Lampre stood by its cyclist. When Ulissi’s case faced delays, it raced him in Italy’s Coppa Bernocchi one-day classic on September 16. The same day, cycling’s governing body, the UCI, responded ****and referred his case to Swiss Cycling’s disciplinary committee.****
          Switzerland’s ban took into account the days last summer that Ulissi was not able to compete. His back-dated suspension runs from June 25, 2014, to March 28. It allows him to return in time for the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d’Italia.
          The UCI could appeal the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but has yet to comment on Switzerland’s ruling.”

          And from the UCI’s own website:
          “Anti-Doping Tribunal
          The UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal was established in January 2015 as part of the reforms implemented by Brian Cookson since his election as UCI President. The UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal takes over the task, previously delegated by the UCI to the National Federations, of handling disciplinary proceedings and rendering decisions concerning violations of the Anti-doping Regulations.”
          http://www.uci.ch/news/article/anti-doping-tribunal/

          January 2015 was three months into Ulissi’s short off-season ban.

          • Neuron1

            I stand corrected on the UCI/ Swiss issue. I assumed they were the same entity. Ulisi also went through controlled excretion retesting to try to explain the elevated levels. Literature shows that a dose of 800 mcg, half a days maximum dose, taken an hour before testing will result in a urine level of 900 ng/ml. I stand by everything else. Ulissi’s levels were excessive of an allowed drug for which he had a TUE. Impey’s were of a prohibited drug with no TUE. I can just imagine the furor if this were an Italian, Spanish or Russian rider.

            • Dave

              Ulissi rides on a Swiss licence.

          • Common Wombat

            Also wrong with regards to the Impey situation which took place in an environment outside his team’s environment/support; namely the South African nationals. Any malfeasance (if there was any) was on the part of the rider not anyone else linked with his professional team.

  • Connor

    Sh!t boys and girls! an odd week indeed when us Poms and you Skippies find ourselves in the same uncomfortable boat. I think, for the sake of appearances, at the very least we need to be pointing each other and calling obscure and colloquial semi-rude words. What will the world think of us otherwise?

    • Dave

      ^ sheep shaggers

      Oops, wrong enemy.

    • jules

      speak for yourself. the Aussie connection to all of this is pretty tenuous :-)

      • Dave

        The team is based in Italy, is it not?

        • jules

          yep. belgian DS, British rider.. owned by Gerry Ryan – that’s Irish isn’t it?

          • Dave

            Taiwanese bikes, German tyres, French support cars …

    • Arfy

      That’s why we stopped the boats. When are you bastards going to learn that beer goes in the esky, not the thermos?!

  • Robert Merkel

    Even if we take this at face value as human error, what a fuckup.

    Go to http://www.globaldro.com/. Home, select “Athlete”, “Cyclist”, “United Kingdom”, and enter either “terbutaline” or any of the trade names of the inhalers.

    Takes about two seconds. Comes up “Prohibited”, and explains that you need a TUE.

    If I were running a pro cycling team, I’d have a policy that outside an emergency situation and a very small list of known OK medications (eg paracetamol), both the doctor and the athlete (or, if the athlete doesn’t want to do it, a third trusted person) should both check the WADA status of any medication before supply.

    • Not sure if terbutaline is more effective than ventolin (another asthma medication) but this document from Athletics Australia suggests athletes taking terbutaline can switch to ventolin and not have to worry about a TUE. http://www.athletics.com.au/Portals/56/High%20Performance/Documents/Asthma%20medication%20.pdf

      • Dave

        Ah, but Ventolin is one of those ones which doesn’t work on non-asthmatics!

        There’s also the options of Salbutamol (used by Chris Froome) and Formoterol which don’t need a TUE for certain low dosages.

    • Neuron1

      I posted my comment just after yours. Seems we did the same research, using the same websites.

    • Dave

      “Takes about two seconds. Comes up “Prohibited”, and explains that you need a TUE.”

      If you go to the UCI website – http://www.uci.ch/clean-sport/therapeutic-use-exemptions/ – and scroll down about two thirds of the page, you can even see a bit of an explanation of the documentation is needed to justify a TUE for terbutaline.

    • Tim Ashton

      I had the impression that this was not an error where they did not realise ‘terbutaline’ was on the banned list. More that someone simply forgot to fill out the paperwork.

      But hard to know exactly.

      • Common Wombat

        Was this a case of there being a TUE previously being in place for this med for Yates which may’ve expired; leading to the situation of the team doctor still thinking that it was still valid ? That’s the scenario that immediately comes to mind ……. could certainly be way off the mark, mind you.

  • Neuron1

    I just did a quick review of the USADA web site and linked to the UK and Australia sites. It seems that terbutaline, unless I’m mistaken, is prohibited in all of it’s forms: Inhaled, eneteral and parenteral. Albuterol/salbutamol is conditional, but at the pro level requires a TUE. This will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    • jules

      an exemption is granted to a prohibited substance.

  • Philip Darbyshire

    Did Simon “fail a drug test” or did the doctor fail to do their job properly? Big difference?

    • jules

      Both. the doctor was employed to do things, including get Simon a TUE. however, Simon is responsible for ensuring he has a TUE before using a proscribed substance.

      • Dave

        The WADA online reporting system ADAMS even has medical accounts for doctors to apply for TUEs on behalf of athletes.

  • bigdo

    They’re all doing some drug or another…. it’s just sort of what they do… it’s a professional sport, millions of dollars are on the line… the guys that aren’t born water carriers are all doing a lil something extra to get the recognition, get the contracts, get the new life in Europe or whatever….

    We as fans really have to stop massaging this fact to look or sound like something else. It truly is what it is. The broad majority of the stars and the up and coming stars are all on the hot sauce. It’s a cut throat world man, like, if you’re not doping you won’t be routinely competing amongst the best.. you just won’t. The pro peloton is gettin faster and lighter and more edgy man.. not leveling out. Things are changing and the culture is still more or less about doping so you can get a good contract and make some loot.

  • sket

    For a chronic condition, how often must you apply for a TUE?

    • Dave

      For asthma, the WADA advice to sports’ TUE Committees recommends four years. It is up to each individual sport to decide though.

      “X. TUE validity and recommended review process
      The recommended validity of a TUE for an asthmatic athlete is 4 years with an annual review by a physician experienced in treating athletes. In some cases, an ADO may impose conditions such as a review by a specialist within a certain time frame.”

      https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/therapeutic-use-exemption-tue/medical-information-to-support-the-decisions-of-tuecs-asthma

      • sket

        If he only relies on Terbutaline for attacks, one might understand how the exemption renewal was overlooked after 4 years. But of course, it also doesn’t take an MD to set a reminder in your phone.

        • Sean parker

          It’s used to prevent attacks and would normally be taken regularly in periods of exacerbation of symptoms. The ventolin puffer is used to control symptoms of an attack.

  • Russ

    Love how this is a British problem with an Aussie coach resigning because of sexist attitudes and a rider taking a banned substance because of an Australian team doctor stuffing up……C’mon CT, you guys are usually balanced and fair!

    • It’s a good tactic to get a leg up in the Brits before Rio, no?

  • kachoong1

    Everyone needs to calm the f**k down. According to the study published here it doesn’t even help endurance exercise (i.e. cycling) – for those who read the abstract, there was a tendancy towards worse perfmormance at 110% of VO2max and no difference at 70-75%.
    Last time I checked, Yates doesn’t ride track, the only event where it might actually help (slightly better anaerobic performance). It has a lower bronchodilating effect than something like Salbutamol.

    I am usually the first to condemn a doper, but this sort of jumping to conclusions is a bit ridiculous.

    • jules

      what is 110% Vo2max?

    • Stompin

      What energy system do you think road cyclists use when attacking to make a break ie. attacking the group on a climb? Think about it.

      • kachoong1

        If it reduces longer efforts what’s the point though? Can’t see any cyclist taking a drug that makes aspects of performance worse. Least of all someone like Yates who isn’t exactly a sprinter.

        • Saeba R.

          Cycling has a culture of drug abuse. So in the past sometimes people have taken drugs that have harmed their performance.

  • Nathan

    It seems no one actually read the whole team statement. At the time of testing the team included this drug in the declaration. It seems then that there was no attempt to hide the fact that the drug was in his system…they in fact advised that it would be. That suggests a likley honest mistake re the TUE. As cycling fans we have moved from exonerating riders without basis, to finding them guilty with a similarly low level of intellectual effort. Let the process run and if questions need to be asked, make sure they are based in fact rather than confected outrage.

    • jules

      I agree. it’s clearly a mistake. however, there remains the question of whether the TUE was being sought for genuine therapeutic purposes.

      if it was not, then the TUE is still dodgy. let’s face it, the evidence suggests this is common in the pros. but without a TUE, then it’s just cheating.

      it’s a bit like those riders who get busted for EPO and say “but.. but.. I made a mistake.. I got the timing wrong, I was supposed to take it an hour earlier so it would leave my system for the control!”

      yesss.. and that makes it not cheating, how? the implication is – everyone is doing it, why should I be punished for doping ineffectively?

      • Nathan

        It is also valuable knowing if it was a lapsed TUE rather than a case of getting the first. It is important not to conflate questions re the need for the TUE with this issue of not having the TUE. More general issues about TUEs and their overuse is another much bigger question that does need to be raised…… perhaps there is a need for UCI approved doctors for the issueing of TUEs? More money!

    • From my understanding, that’s exactly what OGE say happened Nathan.

  • Michele

    Serious question … One I’ve asked before, but never received a definitive answer for.

    During the Essendon drugs saga, it was reported that the AFL players, when being tested, were asked to declare any medications / injections they’ve received in the last x amount of time. The suggestion is the players failed to report the injections they were receiving, and hence, even though they believe they weren’t doing any wrong, were still complicit.

    So the question… When a cyclist faces a dope control (in competition), are they expected to notify testers of any medications they’ve taken / are on??

    For then surely terbutaline would’ve been listed at the time of testing, thus providing further credence to Yates’ defence.

    And if they currently don’t, shouldn’t this perhaps be reviewed?

    • jules

      they all fill out a standard form. OGE say they (or Yates) wrote terbutaline on it, either not realising their doc didn’t have a TUE, or resigned to the fact they were up shit creek either way.

      the fact they stated terbutaline up front surely goes in their defence. why would you take an illegal substance and then declare it up front?

      it’s interesting with the Sharapova case. I didn’t hear that she ever declared the use of the melodonium? that she was taking.

      • Derek Maher

        Hi Jules, Sharapova did not need to declare her use of melodonium as it was not an illegal substance and was openly prescribed to athletes all over Europe. Some German guy did a documentary implying it was a performance enhancer and WADA banned it on the 1st of January 2016 after getting a complaint from the US anti doping authorities. WADA did not carry out proper tests on the drug and now the issue is under review. Also it was not a Russian drug but developed in Finland.

        • Neuron1

          From what I have read there were over 200 positives from melodonium this year. They never really looked at the excretion profile of the drug and have subsequently found it can be rather prolonged. Thus athletes claim to have stopped taking it befre the deadline but continued to excrete it. WADA, it seems, are now trying to decide how to proceed. Interesting problem.

        • jules

          the form asks athletes to declare all substances – legal or illegal. it was illegal as it was – at the time – on the banned list.

          whether or not it’s a performance enhancer is in one way irrelevant. if it’s banned, it’s banned. the WADA backflip on melodonium is pretty suspicious anyway. being a performance enhancer is not the only criterion by which a substance may be banned – abuse of a potentially harmful substance in the belief by athletes it may enhance their performance can be enough to have it banned.

          a lot of the debate around Sharapova’s positive and meldonium is misinformed.

  • Derek Maher

    I guess Simon messed things up and should have got his TUE in order. The doctors job is to diagnose health problems and try to fix them and issue a cover note to the patient who forwards the cover note to the relevant authorities. Regarding some asthma drugs improving performance of course they do. That’s why they are banned if you are not an asthma sufferer.

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