• Simon Yates (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Simon Yates has spoken publicly for the first time about his Terbutaline case in the wake of a fourth-month sanction the UCI issued overnight.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
18 Jun 2016 - 8:48 AM 

The Orica-GreenEdge climber will serve a backdated suspension that will prohibit him from competing at the Tour de France but allow him to start the Tour of Poland next month.

Yates tested positive for Terbutaline during an in-competition test at Paris-Nice on March 12, which his team attributed to a Therapeutic Exemption Use (TUE) “administrative error” made by a unnamed team doctor.

The 23-year-old asthma sufferer has made no public comment since news of the positive sample was leaked to the press in April. Through a statement issued by his representation on Friday, Yates described the circumstance as “extremely painful” and alluded to a regrettably tarnished image.

“Unfortunately as a result of an honest mistake of my team doctor, whom I trusted wholeheartedly, there will now be a doubt cast over my name, my previous results and any future glories,” said Yates.

“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.”

Yates was set to spearhead the Orica-GreenEdge Tour team alongside his twin brother Adam, who finished seventh overall at the Criterium du Dauphine last week, and be given a free role.

Yates has not competed since April's Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Orica-GreenEdge has purposely not raced the burgeoning climber since then in lieu of the impending UCI verdict, which may have further disrupted his season if observed from the date of his last race.

"It has been an unfortunate break due to circumstances that Simon cannot be blamed, but above all, we are happy that is has now come to a conclusion,” Orica-GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan said.

"Simon has been training well and we welcome him back on the roster for a strong second part of the season."

Yates’s suspension is backdated to March 12 and the Girona-based Briton will be eligible to return to competition on July 11, 2016.

“The last few months have been very long and extremely painful, not only for me but for my family and friends,” he said.

"Whilst the medication prescribed was clearly stated on the doping control test form by my team doctor, he made an administrative error by failing to apply for the necessary TUE for the use of this medication. Therefore, I regrettably have to accept the punishment issued by the UCI.

"Ultimately the responsibility is on the athlete to know exactly what they are taking and what they are putting into their body.”

“I have dedicated the last 13 years of my life to the sport of cycling. I have worked incredibly hard in this period and am proud of all my success to date,” Yates said.

The British Yates brothers are out of contract this season and it is understood they are in “early” talks with Orica-GreenEdge team management for 2017. Bannan has previously said the outfit is keen to keep the pair and harness their Grand Tour potential.

Orica-GreenEdge keen to keep Adam Yates
Adam Yates is leaving “early” contract talks to his manager as he prepares to lead Orica-GreenEdge at the Tour de France next month.

The full UCI statement: 

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces today that Simon Yates has been sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of four months for a non-intentional anti-doping rule violation committed on 12 March 2016 (i.e. presence and use of the specified prohibited substance Terbutaline),” the statement reads.

“As per the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), the start of the sanction will run from the date of the sample collection until 11 July 2016.

“The case has been resolved via an acceptance of consequences as provided for by the WADC and the ADR.”