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Cyclist Yates can keep racing despite positive doping test

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AIGLE, Switzerland — British cyclist Simon Yates can continue to race despite a positive doping test during the Paris-Nice race, the International Cycling Union said Friday.

An administrative error has been blamed by the Orica GreenEdge team for the positive test on March 12 for Terbutaline, in the form of an asthma inhaler that former track world champion Yates used as part of documented ongoing treatment.

“As per the UCI’s anti-doping rules, such substance does not entail the imposition of a provisional suspension,” the governing body said in a statement.

Orica GreenEdge released a statement on Friday saying it was notified last week about the 23-year-old Yates’ case, and that the inhaler was noted by a team doctor on doping control forms.

But the team said the doctor erred by not formally applying for a therapeutic use exemption for the substance, and so the positive result was flagged by anti-doping authorities.

“This is solely based on a human error that the doctor in question has taken full responsibility for,” Orica GreenEdge said in the statement. “There has been no wrong-doing on Simon Yates’ part.

“The team takes full responsibility for this mistake, and wishes to underline their support for Simon during this process.”

The Orica GreenEdge statement was released in the wake of a brief British Cycling confirmation that a rider tested positive during a race. British Cycling did not identify the rider, or the race, and said the UCI was handling the case.

Orica GreenEdge said it was concerned by the leak of information, and would make no further comment until a full evaluation of the case, “and evidence that the team and Simon Yates are now submitting to the UCI in order to clarify everything.”

Yates can “request and attend the analysis of the B sample,” the UCI said, adding it would not comment further “at this stage.”

In 2013, Yates won gold in the points race at the track world championships in Minsk, Belarus. He finished seventh in the weeklong Paris-Nice race.

World champ Peter Sagan to race in Tour Down Under

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia has confirmed he will compete in the Tour Down Under in January, the opening World Tour event of the season.

Sagan won the world title last month for the third straight year, becoming the first cyclist to do so. He competed in the Tour Down Under for the first time last year, finishing second on three stages behind Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.

Sagan, who rides for the BORA-hansgrohe team, said the six-stage Tour Down Under is “the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year … a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.”

Former Olympic cycling champ fired after positive drug test

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Former Olympic road cycling champion Samuel Sanchez, who returned a positive doping test in August, had his B-sample confirmed Wednesday and was promptly fired by the BMC Racing Team.

Sanchez’s out-of-competition test revealed growth hormone-releasing peptide 2, or GHRP-2, a drug that increases a body’s level of growth hormone. Several cyclists have tested positive for the drug, among them Italian rider Stefano Pirazzi, who was given a four-year ban earlier this week.

The U.S.-based BMC Team said in a statement Wednesday that it was adhering to its zero-tolerance policy toward doping by terminating the Spaniard’s contract “with immediate effect.”

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who had been provisionally suspended, won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.