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British amateur cyclist gets two-year ban after testing positive

Josh Cunningham
22 Mar 2017

55-year-old rider tested positive from a sample taken at a 25-mile time trial, but UKAD is satisfied it wasn't intentional

55-year-old amateur cyclist Michael Ellerton has been handed a two-year ban by UK Anti-Doping after returning a positive test for a sample taken at a Port Talbot Wheelers 25-mile time trial last September. 

The substances glucocorticoids prednisone and prednisolone were found in urine sample that Ellerton provided at the race, which he attributed to medication he had been taking to treat mouth ulcers in the run up to the race. 

As a result, UKAD invited Mr.Ellerton to apply for a retroactive TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption), which he did, but was eventually rejected on the grounds that it was a friend's medication he had consumed, that he hadn't sought medical advice, and that glucocorticoids have potential performance-enhancing benefits (among other reasons).

However, UKAD were satisfied that he did not act intentionally.

'UKAD is not in a position to advance a positive case that Mr Ellerton committed the anti-doping rule violation intentionally,' it said in a report on the case. 'UKAD accepts Mr Ellerton’s explanation that the AAF (adverse analytical finding) was caused by Use of a Prohibited Substance Out-Of-Competition in a context unrelated to sport performance.'

As a result Mr.Ellerton has been handed a two-year ban by UKAD, who stressed that liability ultimately rested with him.  

'Mr Ellerton admitted he did not undertake any enquiries to satisfy himself that his use of his friend’s medication was consistent with his responsibilities as a cyclist subject to the ADR (anti-doping rules). He also failed to conduct any rudimentary internet research into the medication.'

After Mr Ellerton's cooperation, UKAD commenced the ineligibility ban from the date the test sample was taken, meaning that it will finish on 10th September 2018. 

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