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Caruut

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Simon Yates - Terbutaline
« on: May 17, 2018, 12:37 »
So, Yates' time in #pink has got me thinking back to that ban of his. I remember at the time thinking it seemed like a strange one; 4 months for non-intentional doping. I'd always quite liked the Yates brothers, always seemed very willing to give it a go, and an antidote to the very methodical approach of other big British riders, so I think I've never really thought too hard about it.

What do we know about it? Reading the news reports at the time it kinda got overshadowed by the Shane Sutton scandal a bit so never really got dragged out in the media. They all suggest that the team doctor forgot a TUE, nobody blames Yates but he has to undergo his ban anyway cos them's the rules. Is this credible? Or is it more a case of "rising star in important new market has case interpreted from most charitable angle possible"?

I've not heard of terbutaline being used before, and a quick check on https://www.dopeology.org/products/Terbutaline/ (cheers L'Arri) shows only three positives, none of which seem to have resulted in major bans. Pastor was merely "removed from competition". Bugge apparently switched asthma meds. His team history certainly doesn't show any gaps of longer than a year, so I assume he must have gotten a slap on the wrist ban like Yates.

Press links (from Dopeology):
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/apr/28/british-cycling-ignored-claims-shane-sutton-years-say-staff
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/simon-yates-handed-four-month-non-intentional-doping-ban/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/36166128
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 13:17 »
    I think there are two things that need splitting out. The 'legal' position and the 'ethical' position for want of better terms.

    The legal position is, as far as I can remember, that if the doctor had done the admin properly, Simon Yates wouldn't have been banned. Any rider can use the product on presentation of a TUE to whoever you hand it in to. He actually had the TUE, it just didn't get handed over. So sympathy is due I think, for having to take the punishment for someone else's screw up.

    As for the ethical side, I should first say that I don't believe there should be TUEs for asthma. If you suffer from asthma to the extent that you cannot complete an event without resorting to your inhaler, unlucky, goodbye, find another sport which doesn't rely quite so heavily on oxygen intake under extreme duress.

    Having said that, I don't have a problem with someone who is diagnosed with asthma and is allowed to apply for a TUE, then getting the most beneficial product that the rules allow. These guys are getting paid to win, and not winning because you weren't aware of the rules, or decided not to apply them to gain maximum advantage, is expecting our top sportsmen to hold Corinthian values that are as out of date as the name suggests.

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  • AG

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 13:31 »
    I do tend to question these things a fair amount though. 

    Did he really have a TUE, or was it a 'backdated' kind of thing similar to what we have seen in the past.  I dont think that we got even close to the full story ... and given the history of cycling, history of British Cycling, of Greenedge, matt White and the otplayers involved - am really not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 14:03 »
    I do tend to question these things a fair amount though. 

    Did he really have a TUE, or was it a 'backdated' kind of thing similar to what we have seen in the past.  I dont think that we got even close to the full story ... and given the history of cycling, history of British Cycling, of Greenedge, matt White and the otplayers involved - am really not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.

     Forgive me, but this doesn't read like questioning, rather more like Confirmation bias.
     
     


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    Francois the Postman

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 14:11 »
    As for the ethical side, I should first say that I don't believe there should be TUEs for asthma. If you suffer from asthma to the extent that you cannot complete an event without resorting to your inhaler, unlucky, goodbye, find another sport which doesn't rely quite so heavily on oxygen intake under extreme duress.

    You know how we have paralympics. I am starting to feel there is a very strong case to take out all the asthma sufferers and give them their own Salbutamolympics.

    Puff away at will but stop pretending that winning the TdF, one of the greatest endurance feats with a large percentage in the thinner stratospheres, when you are struggling to breath at sea level, is normal.

    Given the amount of puffin penguins we have riding  in the peloton these days, and the amount of GT winners amongst them, the quality of the field of the the Salbutamolympics would more than rival the one of the remaining top athletes that don't need NHS support to get through their routine working day.
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  • AG

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 15:10 »
    Forgive me, but this doesn't read like questioning, rather more like Confirmation bias.
     

    yeah fair point.

    Sad isnt it? 


    I still like him.  He rides aggressively, attacks and has a genuine go ... and I like watching that kind of racing, so I hope he wins the Giro.   

    I just dont believe he is doing it clean (but then, I dont believe anyone else is either)
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 15:37 »
    For me it's all about a correlation between perception, status and circumstances. Not so much to do with the actual rules.

    I find it hard to put together a decent structured argument around this. What I agree with is this general principle: if you can enable someone to participate without conferring on them an unfair advantage, then you should do it.

    Salbutamol does not confer a performance advantage provided that it is inhaled only and within controlled limits. As far as I understand it, it's the same for terbutaline. Simple enough but the difficult part is codifying and then enforcing that principle in the colourful world of élite sports.

    Compare and contrast the cases of Offredo and Armitstead in the matter of whereabouts. There wasn't much hype around the Frenchman, who wasn't bossing any races at the time and who took his ban on the chin despite some of it being due to a staff screw-up. The Brit's case was announced inopportunely, turned on narrow and/or private facts and was vehemently fought by her in the media.

    Yates and Froome are sort of respectively similar. Yates wasn't quite the big name then, was busted in part due to a staff screw-up and took his ban relatively quietly. Froome is a hype train unto himself, was already suss for many, has fought this for months and blatantly continued racing in the meantime.

    The key difference is that Yates has developed into a serious GT contender within the last week or so, whereas Offredo, although quite stylish in his own way, is nowadays a PCT makeweight. Therefore Yates inevitably gets a retro blowback, just as Offredo would have if he had gone on to crush a Ronde or an E3.

    Strip away all that circumstantial guff and you come back to the rules and the spirit that informs them. What inconsistency there is at that basic level can be explained by having to rush up a ruleset against a constantly evolving scientific background and the corrupting influences of money and power.
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    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 15:44 »
    I do tend to question these things a fair amount though. 

    Did he really have a TUE, or was it a 'backdated' kind of thing similar to what we have seen in the past.  I dont think that we got even close to the full story ... and given the history of cycling, history of British Cycling, of Greenedge, matt White and the otplayers involved - am really not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.

    Sorry I got the story the wrong way round...

    Quote
    According to the team’s press release, which followed after Yates’ name had been linked to the positive test, Yates had been given an asthma inhaler containing the substance, as was noted by the team doctor on the doping control form that was filled out and signed at the time of the test.  So the UCI was made aware that the substance was likely to be found in Yates’ sample, and it would have come as no surprise to them.

    However, in an administrative error, the team doctor had neglected to apply for the therapeutic use exemption required for the medication.

    So it wasn't a case of a backdated TUE, it was a case of no TUE despite the inhaler being on the doping control form at the time of the test which presumably can't be backdated.

    Whether Yates is playing a different game is unclear, but it doesn't look as if they were playing the 'fail a test then provide a TUE for something that could have triggered it' game.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 18:02 »

    The key difference is that Yates has developed into a serious GT contender within the last week or so, whereas Offredo, although quite stylish in his own way, is nowadays a PCT makeweight. Therefore Yates inevitably gets a retro blowback, just as Offredo would have if he had gone on to crush a Ronde or an E3.

    Strip away all that circumstantial guff and you come back to the rules and the spirit that informs them. What inconsistency there is at that basic level can be explained by having to rush up a ruleset against a constantly evolving scientific background and the corrupting influences of money and power.

     I absolutely agree with what you are saying, here.
    Any blemish along the career road and we inevitably get into a performance = doubt conflict, should said rider do well.
    Part of that "blowback" how people's perceptions become effected; even subconsciously.
    Take Tom Dumoulin and Simon Yates.
    Dumoulin finishes 6th in the 2015 Vuelta and the general perception was (rightly, as it turned out) that he should be considered a genuine contender before the 2017 Giro started.
    Yates finishes 6th in the 2016 Vuelta and has developed into a genuine contender in the past week.
    This, despite the fact that Yates can back up that Vuelta result with a 7th in the 2017 TDF.
    Go figure. ;)  :P :lol

     Anyhow, I find having this debate is particularly sad in this case, as by all accounts the rider did nothing wrong, even though he ultimately carries the responsibility.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 09:48 »
    Well, this puts it much better than I did:

    ... by all accounts the rider did nothing wrong, even though he ultimately carries the responsibility.

    ... such that, in this sport, anything big he pulls off later will be suspect.

    That is what it boils down to, while putting no hands in the fire.

    Looking forward to seeing what sort of gaps there are this weekend.
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