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Green suspended for asthma inhaler slip-up

Canadian mountain bike racer Roland Green has been retroactively suspended for six months after testing positive for prednisolone, a synthetic corticosteroid, at the UCI MTB World Cup in Houffalize in May 2004.

A hearing was recently conducted through the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada with the participation of Green and the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). The hearing found that an infraction of UCI anti-doping rules had occurred, but there were mitigating circumstances: the prednisolone came from Green's asthma inhaler and Green had failed to keep up the necessary paperwork to use it.

The panel ruled that Green should serve a six-month suspension, the minimum for this offence, from July 4, 2004 to April 4, 2005, a period that includes the normal mountain biking inactivity period from November 1 to January 31. The UCI Anti-doping Commission has accepted the ruling.

Through the CCA, Green offered the following statement. "At the Houffalize, Belgium round of the World Cup on May 30, 2004 I tested positive for the medication in my asthma inhaler. Normally, this would not be a problem, since I have been cleared to use this medication for the past five years. However, last spring I failed to have my paper work completed before leaving for Europe, which meant that I was not officially cleared to use it. This was completely my fault and, as a result, I have received a six-month suspension, and will not be allowed to compete until April 4. All of my sponsors, friends and family have been very supportive under these trying circumstances. My first race back will be Sea Otter Classic on April 14. I am really looking forward to racing again."

According the CCA, "prednisolone is a substance commonly found in medication used in the treatment of asthma. In this particular case the substance was contained in a prescription product known as Symbicort. The use of this medication cannot be considered performance enhancing, and Green has a documented history of exercise induced asthma."

The suspension will not affect Green's status as a member of the Canadian national team.

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