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British amateur cyclist aged 55 handed two-year doping ban

Michael Ellerton had used friend's medication to treat mouth ulcers; UKAD says anti-doping rule violation was "involuntary"...

A 55-year-old amateur cyclist from Burnley has been banned from all sport for two years after testing positive for banned substances that he said were contained in medication given to him by a friend before a race to treat his mouth ulcers.

Michael Ellerton, from Burnley, tested positive for the glucocorticoids prednisone and prednisolone following an in-competition test at the Port Talbot Wheelers Cycling Club’s 25 Mile Time Trial on 11 September 2016, organised under Cycling Time Trials (CTT) rules.

UK Anti-doping (UKAD) says that “Glucocorticoids are currently prohibited in-competition, when administered by a systemic route of administration (orally, rectally, intravenously or intramuscularly),” but “are permitted out-of-competition regardless of the route of administration.”

Ellerton, who was a member of the North Yorkshire-based Team Swift Cycling, said a friend had given him a packet of ten 5mg Prednisolone Tablets to treat his mouth ulcers and that he took two a day for five days in the lead-up to the event.

As a national- rather than international-level athlete, UKAD invited him to apply for a retrospective Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) but when he did so, its TUE Committee held that he did not meet the conditions for one to be issued.

In its decision, the TUE Committee said:

(a) The TUE Committee are unable to approve TUEs for Athletes who have self-medicated using

another person’s prescription medication,

(b) the Athlete did not seek medical advice prior to using the drugs.

(c) There is no evidence to show that the athlete would experience a significant impairment to

health if the Prohibited Substance been withheld.

(d) There are permitted therapeutic alternatives

(e) Glucocorticoids have the potential to performance enhance.

UKAD accepted that his committing an anti-doping rule violation was not intentional and was out-of-competition which, together with his prompt admission, led to him being banned him for two years, instead of the maximum four that would otherwise have applied.

It noted however that he had “used the medication without undertaking any research into its ingredients or any further checks,” including that he “failed to conduct any rudimentary internet research into the medication.”

The ban was backdated to 11 September 2016, the date of the positive test, and will expire at midnight on 10 September 2018.

UKAD Director of Operations, Pat Myhill said: “The World Anti-Doping Code is based on the principle of strict liability – every athlete, no matter what level, is solely responsible for any prohibited substance which is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was an intention to cheat or not.

“Athletes can easily check the prohibited status of medications before use by visiting Global DRO,” he added.

While Ellerton’s anti-doping rule violation was held to have been unintentional, UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead has expressed in recent days her concerns over doping among amateur athletes.

Responding the findings of a BBC Sport survey of amateur sportsmen and women, she said that doping in amateur sport as a whole is “becoming a crisis.”

> Doping in amateur sport “becoming a crisis” says UK Anti-doping boss

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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40 comments

Avatar
Anthony.C replied to Tjuice | 6 years ago
1 like
Tjuice wrote:
thelighterthief wrote:

I use bonjela. Had i known i could take steroids instead... no hang on. Its a mouth ulcer. 

Could riders, oh i don't know, maybe not ride if they are ill?

I'm not going to comment on the legitimacy of this rider using this particular medication.  I'm not qualified to pass judgement.

 

But wanted to make the point that mouth ulcers *can* be pretty nasty and Bonjela is absolutely useless in treating them (there's nothing active in it AFAIK).  The only thing it does is protect and potentially soothe. 

 

I am very prone to mouth ulcers, and I do need something to help the healing process.  Many people get mouth ulcers far, far worse than I do - having something to treat them can be essential for them.  I would not want to be without some form of treatment for mouth ulcers, so I can imagine the need that others might have for a treatment.  And as a general point, would seem pretty harsh to tell someone that they could not compete if they wanted to treat mouth ulcers (again, not trying to draw parallels with the particular case in the main article, but just responding to thelighterthief's point about ulcers)

 

Iglu and Bonjela are useless.  I used to use adcortyl in orabase, but this was discontinued some years ago.  Since then, the best I have found OTC is Hydrocortisone Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablets.  And yes, this is a steroid (widely used for a number of complaints). 

 

I had a quick look at the WADA banned substances list and couldn't find hydrocortisone on there, but it's a moot point for me in any case, given that I'm not even training at the moment, let alone competing!

 

Anyhow, I'll shut up now and crawl back into my cave, having waffled on in an unstructured way for far too long.

 

Just so you know when you are back competing at the highest level, it's not allowed in competition if you are taking it intravenously, orally, or the French way (up the arse). Out of competion it's fine however you like it.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
5 likes

Go to doctors? No, just borrow your mates prescriptino tablets. What could go wrong?

Avatar
therevokid | 6 years ago
4 likes

my wife's prednisolone is prescription only !!!!

Avatar
Jackson | 6 years ago
2 likes

Only one guy is allowed using oral prednisone in bike races.

Avatar
Chris James replied to Jackson | 6 years ago
3 likes
Jackson wrote:

Only one guy is allowed using oral prednisone in bike races.

I have asthma and sometime get mouth ulcers. I've never taken prednisolone for mouth ulcers, I usually ignore them or maybe use bonjela.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 6 years ago
11 likes

Just happened to have a mouth ulcer that needed steroids twice daily, in the 5 days leading to a TT crying

Who buys this shit. 

Avatar
dottigirl replied to tritecommentbot | 6 years ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

Just happened to have a mouth ulcer that needed steroids twice daily, in the 5 days leading to a TT crying

Who buys this shit. 

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I do wonder who actually bought it though, and whether they cycle too.

Avatar
Leviathan replied to dottigirl | 6 years ago
5 likes
dottigirl wrote:

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I have ingested a number of Toblerones; could then have a long lasting effect on my performance?

Avatar
The _Kaner replied to Leviathan | 6 years ago
0 likes
Leviathan wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I have ingested a number of Toblerones; could then have a long lasting effect on my performance?

maybe last year's Toblerones...but this year's are only about 50% as effective...you gotta take the ups with the downs....

Avatar
beezus fufoon replied to The _Kaner | 6 years ago
1 like
The _Kaner wrote:
Leviathan wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

Yeah. And a med that strangely ends in -one. Anyone could've done it by mistake. Anyone. 

 

I have ingested a number of Toblerones; could then have a long lasting effect on my performance?

maybe last year's Toblerones...but this year's are only about 50% as effective...you gotta take the ups with the downs....

especially if you take them "the french way"!

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