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Orica-GreenEdge’s hope that Simon Yates will be able to compete in the Tour de France has been frustrated that the news that he will not be able to return to racing until July 11. The Briton had been sidelined since an adverse analytical finding for the substance Terbutaline in March, and finally got word about the case on Friday.
The UCI have accepted that the infraction was not deliberate, but have handed him a four-month sanction. This will be backdated to the date of the test.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces today that Simon Yates has been sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of four months for a non-intentional anti-doping rule violation committed on 12 March 2016 (i.e. Presence and Use of the specified prohibited substance Terbutaline),” it said in a statement.
“As per the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), the start of the sanction will run from the date of the sample collection until 11 July 2016.
“The case has been resolved via an acceptance of consequences as provided for by the WADC and the ADR.”
Yates was tested at Paris-Nice after placing sixth on stage six. He was fifth the following day and finished seventh overall. The UCI has not indicated that he will lose these results.
When the positive test was announced at the end of April, the team explained the circumstances.
“The substance was given to Simon Yates in the form an asthma inhaler and accordingly, this was noted by the team doctor on the Doping Control Form, signed at the time of the test,” it said at the time. “The substance was given in an ongoing treatment of Simon Yates’ documented asthma problems. However, in this case the team doctor made an administrative error by failing to apply for the TUE required for the use of this treatment.
“The use of Terbutaline without a current TUE is the reason it has been flagged as an adverse analytical finding. This is solely based on a human error that the doctor in question has taken full responsibility for. There has been no wrongdoing on Simon Yates’ part. The team takes full responsibility for this mistake and wishes to underline their support for Simon during this process.”
Following the UCI’s decision, the team indicated that he will return to racing next month. A start in the Tour de France will however not be possible.
“After a four-month break due to a pending decision around his adverse analytical finding in March this year, Orica-GreenEdge’s Simon Yates can now finally resume to racing in July at the Tour of Poland,” the team stated.
General manager Shayne Bannan said that he considered the rider to be without blame.
“Simon has been given a four-month sanction by the UCI given the administrative error in not having a required TUE for his asthma inhaler at Paris-Nice. The team has taken full responsibility for this all along and we look forward to seeing Simon back racing.
“It has been an unfortunate break due to circumstances that Simon cannot be blamed, but above all, we are happy that is has now come to a conclusion.”
He added that the 23-year old rider has been training well during his break from competition.
Yates could potentially be considered for the Olympic road race in Rio, an event which could suit his characteristics.