British rider Simon Yates, a strong contender to make Team GB's Olympic cycling squad, failed a drugs test at the Paris-Nice race in March due to an "administrative error" over the use of an asthma inhaler, his team Orica-GreenEDGE said on Friday.
The Bury-born 23-year-old had returned an adverse analytical finding for Terbutaline, a common treatment for asthma, from a test conducted at the Paris-Nice stage race last month, Orica-GreenEDGE said in a statement.
"The substance was given in an ongoing treatment of Simon Yates' documented asthma problems, this is solely based on a human error that the doctor in question has taken full responsibility for,
"However, in this case the team doctor made an administrative error by failing to apply for the TUE (therapeutic use exemption) required for the use of this treatment," the Australian team said.
British Cycling said world governing body The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) had informed it of a possible violation and Orica GreenEdge confirmed the rider was Yates and the substance Terbutaline.
"There has been no wrongdoing on Simon Yates' part. The team takes full responsibility for this mistake and wishes to underline their support for Simon during this process," Orica-GreenEDGE stated.
Yates, the twin brother of fellow professional cyclist Adam, won the points race title at the 2013 world championships in Minsk.
The positive test is another blow to British Cycling which has been rocked by the resignation this week of Australian technical director Shane Sutton following allegations of sexism and discrimination, just months away from the Rio Olympics.