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by Shane Stokes
June 18, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
Cleared to return to racing next month after the UCI said it would impose a backdated four-month ban, Simon Yates has confirmed that he will accept the suspension and not lodge an appeal.
The Briton, who had an adverse analytical finding for the substance Terbutaline at the Paris-Nice race in March, has released a statement and spoken about a tough time for him and others. He notes that the UCI has accepted that his anti-doping violation was non-intentional, but also states that some will doubt him as a result of what was a team error.
“The last few months have been very long and extremely painful, not only for me but for my family and friends,” he stated. “I received a notification from the UCI in mid-April that they had discovered the prohibited substance Terbutaline in my control test sample from Paris-Nice. Unbeknown to me, this substance was in the medication prescribed to treat my asthma during the race, asthma being a condition I was diagnosed with as a child and have suffered with since then.”
At the time his Orica-GreenEdge squad said that the team doctor made an administrative error. While the substance was marked on the doping control form, the doctor failed to apply for the TUE needed to take the medication.
“Therefore,” said Yates, “I regrettably have to accept the punishment issued by the UCI. Even though I was not aware of taking any banned substance at the time of the test or until I was notified of the adverse analytical finding, ultimately the responsibility is on the athlete to know exactly what they are taking and what they are putting into their bodies.”
Yates’ ban is a reduced one due to what has been deemed a low degree of fault or negligence. His test was taken on March 12, the day of stage six of Paris-Nice, and his suspension will expire on July 11. His Orica-GreenEdge team has said he will return to competition in next month’s Tour of Poland, which begins one day later.
Although the UCI has said that he himself committed not fault, Yates said that some will still question him as a result of the matter.
“I have dedicated the last thirteen years of my life to the sport of cycling. I have worked incredibly hard in this period and am proud of all my success to date,” he stated. “Unfortunately as a result of an honest mistake of my team doctor, whom I trusted wholeheartedly, there will now be a doubt cast over my name, my previous results and any future glories.”
He expressed regret for what had occurred.
“I would like to apologise to my colleagues for once again casting our sport in a negative light. I am very embarrassed and ashamed of this whole situation but I am determined to move forward thus will not be making any further comment publicly about the case.”