LONDON (AFP) — Britain’s Simon Yates has been given a four-month ban that will see him miss the Tour de France after he failed an anti-doping test in March, the UCI said Friday.
In April, his Orica – GreenEdge team said it was its fault that it had not gained a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate after he tested positive for terbutaline, which is used to help alleviate asthma symptoms.
“The last few months have been very long and extremely painful, not only for me but for my family and friends,” Yates said in a statement. “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.”
The Australian team had kept the 23-year-old Yates out of competition since then and in the hope its rider would be cleared in time for the start of the Tour de France on July 2.
But Yates’s ban is deemed to have started on March 12 and will expire at midnight on July 11.
Nicole Sapstead, chief executive of United Kingdom Anti-Doping, said, “The case of Simon Yates serves to highlight that all athletes are responsible for what is found in their system, regardless of how it got there.
“In relation to medications, all athletes need to take personal responsibility for what they are being given, even when prescribed by a doctor.”
Yates added, “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.”