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Orica expects Yates verdict in coming weeks

Orica – GreenEdge expects to know if Simon Yates will be allowed to race Tour de France after TUE mix-up results in failed anti-doping test.

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CASSANO D’ADDA – Orica – GreenEdge owner Gerry Ryan is optimistic for quick action from the UCI so Simon Yates can return to racing, possibly at the Tour de France.

Yates, 23, has not raced since early April after an adverse analytical finding for the banned substance Terbutaline from stage 6 in Paris-Nice. Ryan is hopeful the UCI will deliver its ruling within two weeks.

“Everything has been sent in. We will just wait and see the outcome,” Ryan said Wednesday. “Hopefully they will look upon [it] as a genuine mistake.”

Ryan, who is following the Giro d’Italia, where Orica – GreenEdge’s Colombian rider Esteban Chaves is placed second overall, also reaffirmed his hope that the UCI would regard the case as a “genuine mistake,” considering the team took full responsibility for it.

At the very least, Ryan is confident the UCI’s verdict will be handed with enough time before the Tour in July 2 to allow the team to prepare for the race — likewise for Yates, should the outcome mean that he is eligible to race in it. “I think the UCI realize Simon is a contender to ride the Tour,” Ryan said. “Hopefully they see the rationale and, in the next week or so, we’ll get an outcome.”

Yates’s adverse analytical finding came after stage 6 of Paris-Nice on March 12. The team was notified on April 22, but it was then leaked and reported by The Daily Mail on April 28. Though he hasn’t been provisionally suspended, Yates hasn’t raced since then.

Terbutaline is used for asthma, but banned in competition unless riders have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for its use. Orica – GreenEdge accepted full responsibility for what it described as an oversight, saying in a statement that Yates was not at fault and that the substance was given to him to treat “documented asthma problems” in the form of an inhaler — a fact the team said was noted by the team doctor in the doping control form. But the team said the doctor made an “administrative error” by failing to apply for the TUE.

The promising Brit last raced in stage 5 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco on April 8, but has trained while awaiting the UCI verdict. Asked if the uncertainty is a weight for Yates to carry, Ryan said, “It is, but he is upbeat and looking forward, thinking positively and focusing on the Tour.”