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The Russian RusVelo team announced doping suspensions for three of its riders on Friday and cited the use of an asthma medication prescribed by a team doctor as the source of the banned substance found in all three. According to the UCI Pro Continental team, Andrey Solomennikov, Roman Maikin, and Artem Ovechkin registered positive tests for fenoterol at the Russian national championships in late June.
Fenoterol, an adrenergic agonist, acts as a bronchodilator, opening the lungs. The substance is banned for in-competition use by the World Anti-Doping Code.
“The internal team investigation proved that the drug was contained in asthma medication used by the athletes for acute asthma episodes. The medication which contained the prohibited substance was prescribed to the athletes by the team doctor,” the team said in a statement. “The team will now apply all appropriate sanctions to the team doctor for this mistake. The riders are currently temporarily suspended from competitions and team trainings until the decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the national anti-doping agency, RUSADA.
“Rusvelo management reminds that the main principle of the team is zero tolerance for doping. We support clean cycling and we intend to continue doing that.”