Xuban Errazkin, a young Basque rider, is facing an anti-doping ordeal after two separate adverse analytical findings for terbutaline.
The 21-year-old, who rides for the Vito-Feirense-BlackJack team, recently won the best young rider classification at the Volta a Portugal, but two months previously returned two Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) for the asthma drug at the Gran Premio Abimota, as revealed by Portuguese newspaper, Record.
Terbutaline is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list but is permitted with the possession of a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). An AAF for the substance does not dictate a provisional suspension but, similarly to Chris Froome's recent salbutamol case, he will now have to answer to the authorities.
Terbutaline is the substance for which Simon Yates tested positive in 2016. The British rider claimed it was due to an administration error from his team in not registering the TUE, and he was banned for four months for a 'non-intentional' rule violation.
Errazkin maintains he is innocent and his case has now been handed to the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency, who will decide whether or not a sanction is applicable.
"Both myself and my team have decided to send all the necessary documentation, including from before I was personally notified of the positive," Errazkin told the Spanish website, SprintFinal. "I have been treating my asthma for several years and have never had any problems."
A couple of days before the news of the AAFs broke, Errazkin was left out of Spain's squad for the upcoming Tour de l'Avenir, a decision which surprised many given his form in the U23 ranks and his role in amassing the points needed to qualify for the event.
However, the national coach, Pascual Momparler, insisted Errazkin's absence was not linked to the doping case. "
The reason he wasn't selected was because I spoke to him a while ago to tell him to prepare for the race like the rest of the riders in the pre-selection - I wanted them to be fresh and and be able to perform at 100 per cent in France and then go on to the World Championships," Momparler told Ciclo21.
"He raced various races that he told me he wasn't going to race, and then he went all-out at the Volta a Portugal."
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