Cycling: Italian WorldTour team Lampre-Merida has suspended one of its most notable riders. The reason: Diego Ulissi tested positive for Salbutamol after the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The Italian had shown strong form during the first week of the Tour of Italy, securing stage wins on stages five and eight. He then fell on the eleventh stage and later had to give up the tour.
According to his team, a check after the 11th stage found 1.900 ng/ml salbutamol in his sample. The UCI allows 1.000 ng/mL. Only a few days after the controversial use of an asthma spray by the Brit Chris Froome in the race, Ulissi could now be fatal.
Due to a bronchospasm, he was allowed to take an appropriate remedy. Together with the team doctor Dr. Carlo Guardascione had indicated to Ulissi that he was using a Ventolin inhaler. Officially, he was allowed two shots, which would correspond to a quantity of 100 ng/ml. He was also allowed to take paracetamol to relieve the pain caused by the fall.
"The driver became", according to the team, “Tentatively suspended under internal health code. He requests the opening of the B sample.” Ulissi also wants to try to clarify how the finding came about. In a similar case, Alessandro Petacchi was banned for a year in 2007. At that time, almost 1.300 ng/ml salbutamol was found in him.