By Shane Stokes
UCI President Pat McQuaid has strongly criticised the French anti-doping agency AFLD and the Le Monde newspaper over their suggestions that Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro doped during the Tour de France.
On Thursday Le Monde said that Pereiro had twice provided urine samples containing traces of the controlled substance salbutamol. The Spanish rider has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) permitting him to use Ventolin to treat this, but according to the Le Monde story, he hasn't provided sufficient proof to show he needs this.
In a press conference, his personal allergist, Dr. Luis Sands, stated that Pereiro suffers from "moderate" asthma and denied that the usual dosage of medication could give a positive test. McQuaid also said that the rider's condition was genuine.
"It is a completely ridiculous situation and is typical of the AFLD, the French anti-doping agency," the Irishman told Cyclingnews on Friday. "Everyone in the sport accepts the WADA rules [regarding standards for TUE's], but they go off and do their own thing. It is typical. There is no way he can be considered positive. He is an asthmatic, he has all the medical backup to show that he has been an asthmatic, and I believe he has now sent that to the AFLD. That should be the end of it.
"It is scandalous reporting on the part of Le Monde to put down that Oscar Pereiro was positive. He was not positive. He uses Ventolin to treat asthma, as many people do. It is not a doping product or anything like that."
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