Despite testing positive for the banned substance, Salbutamol, during the Giro d’Italia back in May, and subsequently sidelined by Lampre-Merida in June, Diego Ulissi returned to racing today at the Coppa Bernocchi.
“The head of team medical staff, Doctor Carlo Guardascione, gave Diego Ulissi the authorization to return to racing,” Lampre said in a statement.
Guardascione and Lampre decided to race Ulissi “after having carefully examined the documents made available by the lawyer of Ulissi, Taminelli, and considering the articulated rules and regulations of Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), of which Lampre-Merida is member.”
Additionally, Lampre stated, that they’re “waiting for further evidence, currently still late, from the UCI and WADA” and that Ulissi will also race the Italy’s Coppa Agostoni on Wednesday and the Tre Valli Varesine on Thursday.
Lampre announced on June 25th, that Ulissi tested positive for said substance following stage 11 at this year’s Giro. Previously, he had won two stages, before abandoning the race while taking antibiotics to combat a sore throat and a fever.
According to Lampre, the Italian rider was using an inhaler of Salbutamol for asthma, while also being prescribed paracetamol from the team’s doctor to deal with crash related pain. As a result, Ulissi’s urine test revealed 1,900 nanograms per milliliter of Salbutamol, nearly double the limit of that allowed (1,000ng/ml).
The UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) only require a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the asthma drug if more than 1,600mg is used.
Ulissi has since hired an expert to argue that the crash caused a spike in values, which in turn resulted in the positive test. However, after nearly three months, Ulissi is waiting for the UCI to rule in his case. Meanwhile, Lampre has decided to let him resume racing within the scope of the MPCC rules.
“In spite of everything I feel stronger,” Ulissi told Il Tirreno. “While suffering, I took a major step forward in terms of physical and mental maturity. In the first month, I was really on the ground, then I bounced back well with the support of my family.”
If the UCI decides to go ahead with the case and forward it to the Swiss Cycling’s anti-doping committee, Ulissi could face a two-year ban if found guilty.
Update about Diego Ulissi
Team LAMPRE-MERIDA gives notice that the head of team medical staff, Doctor Carlo Guardascione, gave to the rider Diego Ulissi the authorization to return to racing.
After having carefully examined the documents made available by the laywer of Ulissi (Avv. Taminelli) and considering the articulated rules and regulations of MPCC association , of which Team Lampre Merida is member, the responsible for the health of Team Lampre Merida, Dr Carlo Guardascione, while waiting for further evidence, currently still late, from the UCI and WADA regarding the dossier concerning the positivity to albuterol, has issued a positive opinion for the resumption of racing for the rider Diego Ulissi.
Diego Ulissi will race the three competitions of Trittico Lombardo (16-17-18 September).
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