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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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  • M Gee

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #10 on: Today at 02:37 »
    . . .
    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

     . . .


    Come on now. Dumoulin rode in #red for days before finally losing it. He had an underdog of a team, and he was an unlikely candidate for #red to begin with. It was as much a surprise to Dumo as anyone.

    Yates, OTOH, has been shouted from the mountain tops for what, 4 years? And hasn't really had much better in results than what you stated. He's had some stage wins - but only one lesser stage race GC win. We've seen the Yates Bros off the back more than once, whereas Dumoulin has been steady Freddy.

    So this Giro we see Simon beating everybody up like Lance at his best? Or Contador pre-clen? Etc. Sorry, I don't have any evidence other than what I see on the road - but then neither did I have any evidence back in the Lance days.

    My radar is on red alert.
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  • Eeyore sez . . .

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #11 on: Today at 03:27 »
    yeah its a bit off

    4 stage wins in 2 weeks - and crushing the GC ... its a bit much.


    Having said that, circumstances need to be taken into account

    Stage wins - the stages that normally would have been taken by the break are not this Giro. The break simply isnt being allowed anything, and that isnt Michelton Scott's doing, its other teams.  Its therefore not that surprising when the GC guys are taking those wins ... and Simon is the punchiest of them.

    GC - while he is definitely doing better than expected, there are a lot who are doing substantially worse than expected and that is skewing the results a bit.   Who would have thought that Chavez, Lopez and Aru would all fail so spectacularly?   Who would have thought that Dumoulin, Pozzovivo and Pinot could distance Froome ...

    yes Yates is doing well - but keeping things into perspective, is it realistic that he is a better climber than Pinot or Pozzovivo?  yeah.   its more the failures of others that are making his performance look Extra Terrestrial.

    (that isnt to say I think he is clean ;)  but its not Froome-esque either.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #12 on: Today at 03:57 »
    yeah its a bit off

    4 stage wins in 2 weeks - and crushing the GC ... its a bit much.


    Having said that, circumstances need to be taken into account

    Stage wins - the stages that normally would have been taken by the break are not this Giro. The break simply isnt being allowed anything, and that isnt Michelton Scott's doing, its other teams.  Its therefore not that surprising when the GC guys are taking those wins ... and Simon is the punchiest of them.

    GC - while he is definitely doing better than expected, there are a lot who are doing substantially worse than expected and that is skewing the results a bit.   Who would have thought that Chavez, Lopez and Aru would all fail so spectacularly?   Who would have thought that Dumoulin, Pozzovivo and Pinot could distance Froome ...

    yes Yates is doing well - but keeping things into perspective, is it realistic that he is a better climber than Pinot or Pozzovivo?  yeah.   its more the failures of others that are making his performance look Extra Terrestrial.

    (that isnt to say I think he is clean ;)  but its not Froome-esque either.

    You make very interesting points, but I don't think they hold up. Froome is an outlier, good or bad. So I look at Pinot and Pozzo, Chavez and Aru. WTF is happening to Aru and Chavez, I do not know - but they are obviously not anywhere near "on form". Whether it is stomach bugs or something - they aren't their usual selves. Chavez has been more consistently near the top of a GC than Yates, so I could have seen him threatening. But he hit a massive fail somewhere. And we know that this is unusual because all the rest of the peloton are ahead of Chavez.  And, all the rest of the peloton are in typical form - and relatively close to Pinot and Pozzo, in believable time gaps.

    Mitchelton Scott is doing the Sky train thing, and doing it well. Given the names, I can believe it. But the Sky train supported Froome, whom I don't believe, and what do you know? First thing after a positive test for Froome? He fails. Shades of Contador.

    Dumoulin, Pinot, and Yates distancing Froome is not because they are so GOOD. It is because Froome is so bad. So that point loses meaning. Ditto any comparison to Chavez. IDK Lopez - he's another who has been close (in past GT), someone with promise, but said promises are not quite delivered.

    So, no, I don't buy that Yates is THIS much better a climber than Pinot and Pozzo. Dumoulin, maybe. But for the fact that he has gone two weeks now. Not had a bad day. Every time the road goes up he stomps the competition. He's not shown us promise of this much performance in the past.

    So I'm not buying it.
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #13 on: Today at 07:12 »
    ...He fails. Shades of Contador...

    I don't get what you mean here. In 2011 while UCI & WADA were appealing the decision to clear him, Contador won 2 of his 4 warm up races and the Giro in dominant style. It included Etna and Zoncolan curiously. In the Tour he finished 5th despite multiple crashes and on his return from his ban, he won his 2nd race, the Vuelta.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #14 on: Today at 08:22 »

     So, no, I don't buy that Yates is THIS much better a climber than Pinot and Pozzo. Dumoulin, maybe. But for the fact that he has gone two weeks now. Not had a bad day. Every time the road goes up he stomps the competition. He's not shown us promise of this much performance in the past.

    So I'm not buying it.

     Pinot and Pozzo both made bad preparation choices: simple as. Both raced the Tour of the Alps as if it was the Giro.
    As for Dumoulin, there is no question that Yates is the better climber.
    Dumoulin hasn't had a bad day either, even though he came into the race with just 12 days on the road.
    Yet, nobody, including me, is questioning his performance.
     You say that Yates hasn't shown the potential, I'd say that he has.
     Plenty, in fact.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Simon Yates - Terbutaline
    « Reply #15 on: Today at 13:21 »
    I don't get what you mean here. . .
    I really like Contador. But after the clenbuterol penalties, he was never quite as dominant a rider. He had great performances - magnificent even. But he wasn't quite the same. Maybe everybody else changed. And no question Alberto seemed to have a great deal of bad luck, crashes and the like. But for me, the small change in his performance is enough for me to believe he was cheating, just a little. Maybe as much as a blood bag at a critical moment. Although that borders on "big" stuff. Maybe clenbuterol in the off season to lose that extra 5 lbs - what would be thought of by most in the peloton as small stuff. Back when the clenbuterol test was a thing, I defended AC. After all, there were other rational possibilities besides the rather more complicated dopage reasoning. But I also think I said another thing that was in my mind: history would eventually tell us the truth. The final judge would be Contador's performance over time. And, to my thinking, he had lost his edge.

    Regardless, I'm still a fan. Knowing my thinking, though, should explain my meaning in the earlier post. Froome seems to have lost his edge. With full snark: "Isn't that coincidental."

    Pinot and Pozzo both made bad preparation choices: simple as. Both raced the Tour of the Alps as if it was the Giro.
    As for Dumoulin, there is no question that Yates is the better climber.
    Dumoulin hasn't had a bad day either, even though he came into the race with just 12 days on the road.
    Yet, nobody, including me, is questioning his performance.
     You say that Yates hasn't shown the potential, I'd say that he has.
     Plenty, in fact.


    You may well be right. I would agree that Yates has shown potential. I just don't think he has shown THIS much potential before. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm not. Maybe there is no rational way to come to a conclusion - perhaps there is just too little evidence, either way. If Yates shows consistency over the next 3-5 years, and doesn't get busted, I will de-alert my radar status.

    Oh, and btw, I welcome your more detailed and rational analysis of how things develop. You pay attention to details that typically pass me by.
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