Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

UCI responds to WADA comments on de Galdeano positive

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Thursday hit back at claims by a leading doctor of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the so-called "positive" doping test of former Tour de France race leader Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. ONCE rider Gonzalez de Galdeano was not punished for failing a drugs test, Salbutamol by race organizers or the UCI when the news was announced on Wednesday. Dr. Alain Garnier, who heads WADA's Lausanne bureau, subsequently told AFP the rider's regular use of asthma medicine should not normally return as high a reading as was reported - thus implying the

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Thursday hit back at claims by a leading doctor of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the so-called “positive” doping test of former Tour de France race leader Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano.

ONCE rider Gonzalez de Galdeano was not punished for failing a drugs test, Salbutamol by race organizers or the UCI when the news was announced on Wednesday.

Dr. Alain Garnier, who heads WADA’s Lausanne bureau, subsequently told AFP the rider’s regular use of asthma medicine should not normally return as high a reading as was reported – thus implying the Spaniard had perhaps taken a tablet rather than simply asthma medicine.

Gonzalez de Galdeano gave a reading of 1360 nanograms of Salbutamol per milliliter of urine following the sixth stage.

The legal limit for riders without doctor’s certificates is 1000 ng/ml.

Salbutamol, which can be used to treat asthma and is found for example in inhalers, is also, in performance-enhancing terms, a stimulant.

Garnier claimed: “The problem with Salbutamol is that it can show up in (anti-doping) controls, but there are clear rules in sport about its use as a medicine and as a performance-enhancing drug,” Garnier told AFP.

“The reading the rider gave is not compatible with the regular use of a medicine to treat asthma.

“A person using, for example, Ventolin on a regular basis would give a reading of between 200-600 (nanograms), and at the maximum, 800.” However, the UCI issued a statement after Thursday’s 11th stage, a 158km ride from Pau to La Mongie in the Pyrenees.

“The UCI can only regret the claims made by Dr Garnier who suggested in the press there was a positive (doping) case. No such claims should have been made about the rider who it seems has suffered unjustly and has not been allowed to express himself officially.”

The statement could threaten a chasm between the UCI and WADA, who are on this year’s Tour de France as observers.

Despite Garnier’s claims, the UCI was adamant they acted properly and legally in not taking action against the rider.

“Upon studying all the texts and our list of banned substances, the UCI can confirm that it, and the IOC, allows the use of inhalers to prevent or treat asthma no matter the concentration of the substance found in the urine sample.”

Inhalers and other such products which contain substances deemed illegal are allowed by the UCI if a medical prescription can be produced.

However, taking Salbutamol orally, for example in tablet form, is not allowed.

Garnier on Wednesday was contradicted by Dr Leon Schattenberg, who is the UCI’s chief medical officer and a member of the body’s anti-doping commission. “In doping controls with Salbutamol there is no limit,” Schattenberg pointed out. “If the rider has no medical prescription then he should be punished, and depending on the quantity found, he should be punished as having used a stimulant. If it is above a 1000 (ng/ml) then it should be punished. A rider can have a reading of as much as he likes – as long as he has a prescription. That’s the rule, if you look at the French legislation, there is absolutely no threshold.”