French cyclist Jimmy Casper has been provisionally suspended from his team, Agritubel, following positive doping tests taken while he was riding in last month's Tour de France.
Casper was in a list of five riders whose tests revealed positive during the tour which finished in Paris on July 27, L'Equipe newspaper reported on its website. But the 30 year old racer denied any wrongdoing, saying he has an official dispensation, known as "Autorisation a usage therapeutique, (AUT)" to take medicine for asthma.
"I am asthmatic and I used a preparation to treat myself, not as a doping agent," he told AFP. "In the twelve years I have been racing I have had an AUT for a certain product, Syndicort. My old AUT which ran out on 29 May related to that medicine. The next one related to another product, Becotide and that was what led to the positive result."
Casper is asking the French cycling federation (FFC) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) to show indulgence in his case, blaming a medical error. "I don't know if I was negligent or if it was due to the doctor," he said. "
David Fornes, Agritubel team manager, said "For the moment we have suspended him provisionally. If the federation decides to suspend him we will start dismissal procedures," he told AFP.
© AFP 2008