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All About Salbutamol

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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What will the verdict in Froome's salbutamol case?

He will be cleared
43
34%
3 month ban
4
3%
6 month ban
15
12%
9 month ban
24
19%
1 year ban
16
13%
2 year ban
21
17%
4 year ban
3
2%
 
Total votes : 126

Re:

15 Feb 2018 16:54

samhocking wrote:Cases under Civil jurisdiction are generally open to the public, true Hog. Cases under Criminal jurisdiction are definitely not, that process is private between Jury and Court.

So if CF is a criminal that ok?
:confused: :o
User avatar TourOfSardinia
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 17:02

samhocking wrote:Cases under Civil jurisdiction are generally open to the public, true Hog. Cases under Criminal jurisdiction are definitely not, that process is private between Jury and Court.


Clearly you have no idea about modern democracy. Criminal proceedings are open to the public just as much as civil. Judges can choose to seal certain parts of evidence but only with good cause. Jury deliberation is not public with the US allowing for jurors to speak publicly after trial.

The Magna Carta stated the ‘openness’ of the British Court system should always be maintained and in the US it’s a 1st Amendment right of the constitution.

King Froome of Monaco shall keep all his AAFs private though :cool:
User avatar thehog
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15 Feb 2018 18:00

Sorry we are talking about the court case, or simply public observation in a court? In terms of the case, the public do not get access to the case before it begins, only observation of the proceedings in a courtroom after it starts. i.e. they don't have access to any evidence itself beforehand and the jury also sign a disclaimer that nothing relating to the case exits the court to the public either in terms of documents, your notes or your jury discussions and decision which are also not held in public either.
samhocking
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 18:14

samhocking wrote:Sorry we are talking about the court case, or simply public observation in a court? In terms of the case, the public do not get access to the case before it begins, only observation of the proceedings in a courtroom after it starts. i.e. they don't have access to any evidence itself beforehand and the jury also sign a disclaimer that nothing relating to the case exits the court to the public either in terms of documents, your notes or your jury discussions and decision which are also not held in public either.


What are you talking about?

Your first statement was;

Cases under Civil jurisdiction are generally open to the public, true Hog. Cases under Criminal jurisdiction are definitely not, that process is private between Jury and Court.


The public does know who has been charged in a criminal hearing as its relased by the CPS and the crime the defendant has been charged with. Police are at liberty to release evidence prior to the hearing which they may see is in the public interest or to assist in gathering more evidence or witnesses. Evidence discovery is between counsel but it’s not unusual that some of the evidence to be made public pretrial. Jury selection allows for those who might have been overly influenced prior to hearing to be excused.

So a correlation with the Froome case we know what Froome has been charged with, the amounts of salbutamol in his system which would be no different from a criminal proceeding.

Again, you have no idea what you are talking about which is not surprising.
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15 Feb 2018 18:30

We are talking about the leaking of a piece of evidence from one side only. In Froomes case an AAF result before its ADRV decision, but the AAF result is not the ADRV itself is it. The crime itself is did he inhale more than the allowed specified amount. You wouldn't walk into a courtroom several months before a case has begun proceedings and be able to view the prosecutions evidence would you? That is my point, the case is not open to the public, only the proceedings. I've no problem with Froomes hearing being public whatsoever.
samhocking
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 18:35

samhocking wrote:We are talking about the leaking of a piece of evidence. In Froomes case an AAF result before a decision, but the AAF result is not the crime itself is it. The crime itself is did he inhale more than the allowed specified amount. You wouldn't walk into a courtroom several months before a case has begun proceedings and be able to view the prosecutions evidence would you? That is my point, the case is not open to the public, only the proceedings. I've no problem with Froomes hearing being public whatsoever.


the AAF isnt evidence...it's the charge

and you've been listening to SDB too much...the 'crime' is not the amount inhaled....unless taking oral salbutomol not a 'crime'? As that could be an explanation could it not?
Last edited by gillan1969 on 15 Feb 2018 18:37, edited 1 time in total.
gillan1969
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 18:36

samhocking wrote:We are talking about the leaking of a piece of evidence. In Froomes case an AAF result before a decision, but the AAF result is not the crime itself is it. The crime itself is did he inhale more than the allowed specified amount. You wouldn't walk into a courtroom several months before a case has begun proceedings and be able to view the prosecutions evidence would you? That is my point, the case is not open to the public, only the proceedings. I've no problem with Froomes hearing being public whatsoever.


The only element that has been leaked is the positive A and B sample for Salbutamol, which is the ‘criminal charge’ and what Froome needs to defend himself against. Which is exactly the same as a criminal trial. Froome has not lost any of his rights. He is free to defend himself in any manner he likes, the public has not seen his defense nor what the UCI might put forward. The public and the media just like in criminal proceedings are free to debate the nuances of the case however they may see fit.

So what’s your problem with how this case has been handled? You’re clearly clueless on the justice system.
User avatar thehog
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15 Feb 2018 19:22

There is no criminal case, there is no civil case. The closest would be "arbitration", but even that doesn't really fit. The rules are what WADA UCI and other stakeholders determine to be the rules, and riders willingly submit to them prior to being allowed to race.
hazaran
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 19:31

hazaran wrote:There is no criminal case, there is no civil case. The closest would be "arbitration", but even that doesn't really fit. The rules are what WADA UCI and other stakeholders determine to be the rules, and riders willingly submit to them prior to being allowed to race.

that's right it's much more like common law where justice
is mostly based on previous cases (e.g. Ulisse, AleJet) and
community established tradition (e.g not racing while under suspicion).
There's not much new in this case - except the behaviour of those
under suspicion.
User avatar TourOfSardinia
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Re:

15 Feb 2018 19:39

hazaran wrote:There is no criminal case, there is no civil case. The closest would be "arbitration", but even that doesn't really fit. The rules are what WADA UCI and other stakeholders determine to be the rules, and riders willingly submit to them prior to being allowed to race.



That we all know, we were educating Sam that Froome hasn’t had his rights violated.
User avatar thehog
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Re: Re:

15 Feb 2018 19:43

TourOfSardinia wrote:
hazaran wrote:There is no criminal case, there is no civil case. The closest would be "arbitration", but even that doesn't really fit. The rules are what WADA UCI and other stakeholders determine to be the rules, and riders willingly submit to them prior to being allowed to race.

that's right it's much more like common law where justice
is mostly based on previous cases (e.g. Ulisse, AleJet) and
community established tradition (e.g not racing while under suspicion).
There's not much new in this case - except the behaviour of those
under suspicion.


There is no doctrine of precedence in arbitration. A judge or panel can make a decision however they see fit regardless of how previous cases might have been adjudicated. Common law doesn’t really apply here either apart from civil liberties.

What does apply is ethics and acting in the spirit of the sport. Considering Brailsford was railing against the UCI to be tough on Astana his current stance is now very strange.
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Re: Re:

16 Feb 2018 00:32

Taxus4a wrote:
The level of salbutamol is not a positive, just the amount you use. Sometimes both things are in relation, something no. Maybe is difficult to understand for you, I dont know. There is a limit above you habe to explain.


Repeating, incorrectly, Brailsford’s spin doesn’t make it correct. Yes, the level is a positive. Positives are never defined by how much of a substance an athlete takes, they’re defined by how much is detected in his or her system. It has to be this way, since no athlete can ever prove how much of a substance he took. If someone claims he took no EPO at all, that is not a defense against an EPO positive, which is defined as EPO in the body, not how much was allegedly taken.

The 800 ug/ 1600 ug limit is basically a guideline. Riders can take more than that, and almost certainly do, much of the time, as long as they don't exceed the DL. Again, since there is no way to prove how much someone took, there's no way to prevent that.

But 1100 is not positibve, 2000 is not positive, and 3000 is not positive, and it was a proven experiment of a cyclist with the permited dosage who give 3000-


This was discussed upthread, something you would know if you had been following the discussion, instead of just jumping in with an incomplete understanding of the facts. In the first place, it wasn’t a cyclist, it was a runner. In the second place, the study was never replicated. Either the athlete was an outlier, or his readings were, but apparently nothing more has been published on it. There are always outliers in doping cases, the fact that one in a thousand or ten thousand or one hundred thousand can achieve a positive without taking more than the allowed amount is not a defense for anyone else who tests positive. The studies of testosterone isomers indicate that on very rare occasions, someone will test positive without having taken synthetic testosterone. That was not a defense for Floyd.

In the third place, the initial reading of 8000 ng/ml is next to impossible. The minimum volume of urine sample allowed by WADA is 90 ml. If he had only the minimum volume at 8000 ng/ml, he had a minimum of 720 ug, in his urine, 80% of the 900 ug he claimed to take. It would be unprecedented in pharmacology for someone to excrete 80% of a drug with a half life of several hours in the time frame in which he did. He said he took three puffs an hour before the race, three puffs 30 m before the race, and three puffs after the race. The urine sample was taken less than two hours after the race, and since it was 400 m, there was no sustained effort that possibly could have increased excretion. The most likely explanation was that the runner was lying.

In support of that, when he repeated the conditions in the lab, his levels were much lower. The initial lab test did show about 3500 ng/ml, and the second test about half that. But as I noted before, there was no follow-up, and according to Ken Fitch, a researcher who is very sympathetic to athletes who test over the limit, the results could not be repeated.

All the years there are a lot of riders tested the same way than Froome, it is not public, so it looks for you only exist those public and finally sanctioned.


Unlike you, I quoted WADA statistics on salbutamol. Just waving your hands and claiming there are all these riders who tested over the threshold for salbutamol and aren’t known is not a valid argument. I repeat, there were 16 salbutamol AAFs in 2015, and while we don't know how many were for cyclists, we do know that cyclists accounted for just 10% of all beta2-agonist AAFs in that year. So the burden of proof is on someone who claims that 10-12 riders per year have salbutamol AAFs. We know that less one per year is sanctioned for this, so this would imply that > 90% of the cases are not sanctioned. This is highly inconsistent with other WADA stats that indicate about two-thirds of all AAFs end up with a sanction.

It would be better if someone give those names and if the give 1500, 2500,...No, they are not positives and even if Froome knows those names and data, he should keep in secret, even if for people like you, could help a little to understand this is not a positive, there is no doping, he can compete as any other rider with no doping, as the other 10-12 riders in his exactly same situation


It’s very unlikely that anyone other than the Swiss runner tested at 2500, let alone got off. Ken Fitch discussed two other athletes who had above threshold levels and eventually were exonerated, and both had levels well below what Froome has. This was basically all he had. He has referred to other, older studies where subjects had high salbutamol levels, but the ones actually available just confirm how rare this is. All the recent studies show that subjects who take no more than the allowed amount of 800 ug rarely test above 1000 ng/ml, and other than the Swiss athlete (who technically took more than 800 ug) never as high as 2000 ng/ml.

http://sci-hub.la/10.1385/CRIAI:31:2:259

samhocking wrote:You wouldn't agree to a story about you raping someone, being made public simply with what looks like evidence of you raping, knowing it wasn't you and once the trial is over you will then be innocent again, but only legally, not publically.


If you made an extremely lucrative living by claiming you had a high moral standard, then yes, the people who are in effect supporting you would have a right to know if you had been accused of rape. This is partly what the metoo movement is about.

Beyond this, you’re blurring the line between quantitative and qualitative differences. The difference between a salbutamol positive, which you think should remain secret, and a positive for a non-specified substance, which I take it you are fine with being made public, is not qualitative, it’s quantitative. A higher % of salbutamol positives do not lead to sanction than positives for other substances. But based on the available stats, the odds are still well above 50% that a salbutamol positive will lead to a sanction. And as we all know, a substantial portion of cases that don’t result in a sanction don’t come about because the athlete is innocent, but because it’s too difficult to prove that he’s guilty. Even in cases where riders have been sanctioned, like Petacchi and Ulissi, the system has bent over backwards to allow their claims that they made a mistake, when the more likely explanation is intentional doping.

You want to protect the minority of cases that don’t lead to a sanction, but you seem to have no sympathy for the smaller minority of cases for other substances that don’t lead to a sanction.

Finally, of course, if a case is not made public, there's a much greater chance of corruption occurring in the process. Transparency is the ultimate protection the public has that the case will be decided according to the scientific merit, not according to the interests of those who run the sport.
Merckx index
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Re: Re:

16 Feb 2018 01:43

Merckx index wrote:
Repeating, incorrectly, Brailsford’s spin doesn’t make it correct. Yes, the level is a positive. Positives are never defined by how much of a substance an athlete takes, they’re defined by how much is detected in his or her system. It has to be this way, since no athlete can ever prove how much of a substance he took. If someone claims he took no EPO at all, that is not a defense against an EPO positive, which is defined as EPO in the body, not how much was allegedly taken.

The 800 ug/ 1600 ug limit is basically a guideline. Riders can take more than that, and almost certainly do, much of the time, as long as they don't exceed the DL. Again, since there is no way to prove how much someone took, there's no way to prevent that.

I think you got this wrong I'm afraid. I've put an screenshot the rules below. It clearly states it's the allowable amounts that are the rule and the urine sample is the evidence of the offence but can be disproved.

It's set up this way not so the testers can catch athletes, but athletes know where they stand. They can't know what levels they are producing, so how can they measure their intake? Their intake they can be in control of. The WADA rules are set up first and foremost to protect clean athletes.

Sure an athlete could take 2500ug and not breach the limit, but that's no different than any other drug test is it?

Image

(You may want to argue the toss over what exactly 'positive' means. But I'm not interested in a squabble over semantics)
Parker
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Re: Re:

16 Feb 2018 02:23

Parker wrote:
I think you got this wrong I'm afraid. I've put an screenshot the rules below. It clearly states it's the allowable amounts that are the rule and the urine sample is the evidence of the offence but can be disproved.

It's set up this way not so the testers can catch athletes, but athletes know where they stand. They can't know what levels they are producing, so how can they measure their intake? Their intake they can be in control of. The WADA rules are set up first and foremost to protect clean athletes.


I didn’t say the allowed amounts weren’t a rule. I said they were basically guidelines, because a rule that can’t be enforced is basically a guideline (which you confirm with “athletes know where they stand”), and the 800/1600 ug rule can’t be enforced. Most athletes can exceed those amounts without ever testing over the DL. Has any athlete ever been sanctioned with a urine level < 1200, or no urine test at all, because it was proven s/he took more than 800/1600 ug? I very much doubt it.

The passport test (and prior to that, the 50% HT rule and the off-score) is an analogous situation. The rule is that riders are not allowed to transfuse or take EPO, but that rule is frequently unenforceable, so the passport offers a way of enforcing it. If a rider triggers the passport, that is a positive, even though he may eventually be cleared.

Sure an athlete could take 2500ug and not breach the limit, but that's no different than any other drug test is it?


Thanks for supporting my point that in principle there’s no difference in most respects between salbutamol and non-specified substances.

You may want to argue the toss over what exactly 'positive' means. But I'm not interested in a squabble over semantics


Neither am I, but Taxus is having problems with this. Can we cut to the chase here? The only reason Taxus is beating this dead horse is because “positive” seems to stain Froome; he doesn’t like the association. But it is a positive, just as Impey’s probenecid test was a positive. And btw, I’m waiting for Taxus and Sam to argue that Impey’s rights were violated? Shouldn’t his positive have remained a secret, so after he was cleared he wouldn’t be associated with doping? What exactly is the difference between Impey's situation and Froome's, except that it's a little less likely to explain a probenecid positive? (And maybe not even that, since those Brazilian swimmers got away with a diuretic positive, too).
Merckx index
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Re: All About Salbutamol

16 Feb 2018 08:37

You can't challenge the AAF - that will never change unless the rules change.

As with Ulissi, you challenge the ADRV. The ADRV is inhaling more than the specified amounts. This is what Ulissi's lawyers tackled and it's clearly what Froomes lawyers are tackling.

The process is:
AAF
Rider asked to submit evidence to LADS explaining how and why the AAF happened without inhaling more than specified amount allowed in the ADRV. (This is where Froome's case is today)
LADS panel accept that evidence as a satisfactory explanation and there is no ADRV

OR

LADS panel, doesn't accept the evidence explains the AAF satisfactorily and the rider is then subjected to a pharmacokinetic study to fill in the gaps and/or support his evidence.

If we look at Ulissis case. His was:

Gave evidence he suffered asthma and only took a few puffs within the rules
Was asked to prove it in pharmo test, but failed the study.
Then claimed painkillers taken after his crash must have masked his salbutomol release
Evidence given at the beginning and that explanation of painkiller use at time of a bronchial spasm also caused by the crash reviewed.

Without enough evidence or records of how many puffs he took for the bronchial spasm, left him with a sanction of Negligence, but not the intention to enhance performance. Basically Ulissi simply didn't have the records of his Salbutomol intake leading up to his AAF and so couldn't satisfy he inhaled within the rules of the ADRV, because he simply couldn't demonstrate or claim to know how much he was taking. Had he been able to do that, I think he probably would have escaped being sanctioned as the verdict was that he wasn't trying to enhance his performance, so there was clearly enough evidence there from his medical team notes I would imagine after the crash for that to be believed. iirc he originally claimed he only took 2 puffs per day in his initial evidence before claiming painkillers released it.

The LADS AAF review process is actually very effective to find cheaters. If you don't actually have asthma, much of that initial evidence you need to support your case is missing. i.e. you won't have lung function tests and long-term asthma diagnosis as your foundation to your argument. You urine history and salbutomol levels on ADAMS won't be consistent with that of an asthma sufferer, you won't keep records of your inhaler use if you just popped a pill and if any of the above is fake, then you still run the risk of committing even more ADRVs and clearly will involve your team medics too. If your fake salbutomol use doesn't match your urine readings in the sampels on the right dates you won't be able to use them as evidence either and/or LADs can clearly see you claim to have had 4 puffs on this day, but your urine shows no Salbutomol etc etc. You would be crazy to fake asthma because the test to prove you have it so clear-cut.
samhocking
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16 Feb 2018 09:33

Let’s get a few things straight.

Froome returned a positive test for a prohibited substance. Same as with CERA, HGH and whatever it’s on the WADA list of prohibited substances.

This prohibited substance, along with few others has a threshold which differentiates it from therapeutic use to doping.

The threshold is fixed at a very generous level and the guidelines are: inhaled salbutamol: maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours, not to exceed 800 micrograms every 12 hours

If one follows those guidelines it’s 99.9 % sure the athlete will not return an AAF, that’s why those specific guidelines were decided.

If the athlete returns a positive test for Salbutamol, CERA, HGH and whatever it’s on the WADA list of prohibited substances he has the right to demonstrate how those substances entered his system, whether it’s a pharmacist with contaminated hands, mother’s medication accidentally falling in the soup or a kidney failure.

Brailsford’s spin on the matter in which he says that what’s important is how many puffs Froome took and not the concentration in his urine is preposterous and it doesn’t deserve anything more than a good laugh.
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16 Feb 2018 09:41

You don't get the initial LADS opportunity with non-specified. With non-specified the AAF is essentially the ADRV immediately and the ADRV and rider name is published by UCI with a provisional suspension. With specified substances, the ADRV is how much you took decides if an ADRV has occurred or not, not the AAF itself and the AAF result and rider name should only published if there has been an ADRV. Nobody should know about AAFs until an ADRV has been decided. i.e. LADS have reviewed the evidence and rider banned like the process is for non-specified substances.
samhocking
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16 Feb 2018 10:00

If you read the UCI Anti-doping programme, Froome is at this point in the LADS with his AAF if it's a specified substance:

The rider may request the LADS to order the opening of the B sample. If this confirms the AAF of the A sample, or if the rider dispenses with this option, the LADS request the rider to explain why the sample has returned an AAF.


Once all that evidence is in ther hands of LADS, then they set the date to decide if an ADRV has occured. If they can't decide, the rider either accepts an ADRV has occured as he hasn't the evidnce to prove otherwise, or, they can take the pharmo test to show their evidence does explain the reason for the AAF and fill in the missing information LADS require to believe the initial evidence.
Last edited by samhocking on 16 Feb 2018 10:05, edited 1 time in total.
samhocking
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Re: All About Salbutamol

16 Feb 2018 10:04

samhocking wrote:You can't challenge the AAF - that will never change unless the rules change.

As with Ulissi, you challenge the ADRV. The ADRV is inhaling more than the specified amounts. This is what Ulissi's lawyers tackled and it's clearly what Froomes lawyers are tackling.

The process is:
AAF
Rider asked to submit evidence to LADS explaining how and why the AAF happened without inhaling more than specified amount allowed in the ADRV. (This is where Froome's case is today)
LADS panel accept that evidence as a satisfactory explanation and there is no ADRV

OR

LADS panel, doesn't accept the evidence explains the AAF satisfactorily and the rider is then subjected to a pharmacokinetic study to fill in the gaps and/or support his evidence.

If we look at Ulissis case. His was:

Gave evidence he suffered asthma and only took a few puffs within the rules
Was asked to prove it in pharmo test, but failed the study.
Then claimed painkillers taken after his crash must have masked his salbutomol release
Evidence given at the beginning and that explanation of painkiller use at time of a bronchial spasm also caused by the crash reviewed.

Without enough evidence or records of how many puffs he took for the bronchial spasm, left him with a sanction of Negligence, but not the intention to enhance performance. Basically Ulissi simply didn't have the records of his Salbutomol intake leading up to his AAF and so couldn't satisfy he inhaled within the rules of the ADRV, because he simply couldn't demonstrate or claim to know how much he was taking. Had he been able to do that, I think he probably would have escaped being sanctioned as the verdict was that he wasn't trying to enhance his performance, so there was clearly enough evidence there from his medical team notes I would imagine after the crash for that to be believed. iirc he originally claimed he only took 2 puffs per day in his initial evidence before claiming painkillers released it.

The LADS AAF review process is actually very effective to find cheaters. If you don't actually have asthma, much of that initial evidence you need to support your case is missing. i.e. you won't have lung function tests and long-term asthma diagnosis as your foundation to your argument. You urine history and salbutomol levels on ADAMS won't be consistent with that of an asthma sufferer, you won't keep records of your inhaler use if you just popped a pill and if any of the above is fake, then you still run the risk of committing even more ADRVs and clearly will involve your team medics too. If your fake salbutomol use doesn't match your urine readings in the sampels on the right dates you won't be able to use them as evidence either and/or LADs can clearly see you claim to have had 4 puffs on this day, but your urine shows no Salbutomol etc etc. You would be crazy to fake asthma because the test to prove you have it so clear-cut.


Considering your point above....

Can't seem to find it now and not sure wether it was this thread or another....but someone posted a comprehensive list of all the riders who've been sanctioned for excess Salbutamol in recent years.

Would be interesting to know if in the previous cases, the riders were always able to demonstrate 'legitimate' use of Salbutamol prior to the AAF, or if any of them had simply been caught using it without being able to demonstrate a history of asthma?
brownbobby
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Re: All About Salbutamol

16 Feb 2018 10:06

samhocking wrote:Rider asked to submit evidence to LADS explaining how and why the AAF happened without inhaling more than specified amount allowed in the ADRV. (This is where Froome's case is today)
This part is incorrect - Froome was offered a suspension deal by LADS, and he rejected it, so he got sent to Anti-Doping Tribunal about two weeks ago. It is beyond the stage of LADS, and a way worse situation than that
LADS panel, doesn't accept the evidence explains the AAF satisfactorily and the rider is then subjected to a pharmacokinetic study to fill in the gaps and/or support his evidence.
Froome didn't take a lab test for salbutamol metabolism, either, because he knew that he would fail it. Like Ulissi failed. There's not much point in self-incrimination by failing a test - so he dodged that opportunity. And so in the absence of evidence, Froome now has to try to explain how his positive occurred.
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