Tour de France runner-up denies doping

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain - Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro said he will send French authorities documentation of his waiver to take an asthma medication during the race - then wait for someone to "apologize" to him.
Earlier Thursday, a report in the French newspaper Le Monde said Pereiro twice tested positive for salbutamol during the race, but that the International Cycling Union had granted him a waiver for the asthma medication and was not pursuing sanctions against him. French anti-doping officials, however, said they were not convinced the waiver was medically justified.
"Tomorrow morning - Friday - I'll send a fax with the paperwork requested by the French anti-doping agency and then a certified letter, and once this is cleared up I'll wait for whoever needs to, to apologize to me," Pereiro said.
The Spanish cyclist spoke at a hastily convened news conference in the northwestern town of Vigo, accompanied by his personal allergy adviser, Dr. Luis Arenas.
"Deep down I'm calm," Pereiro said.
Pereiro could inherit the title if American Floyd Landis is stripped of the crown. A doping test showed Landis had elevated ratios of testosterone to epitestosterone. If Landis' appeal fails, he could be banned from cycling for two years.
Calls made Thursday by The Associated Press to French anti-doping agency president Pierre Bordry were not immediately returned, but he was quoted on the Web site of French sports daily L'Equipe.
"He (Pereiro) won't answer us, even though we've told him that he is required to do so," Bordry said. "It seems Pereiro has lost track of the doctor who filled out his forms. Pereiro must prove his innocence. The fact he is unwilling to do so, at this moment, is inadmissible."
Pereiro said he had been cleared by the UCI to use Ventolin, an inhaler prescribed medically to ease asthma.
Arenas said that Pereiro suffered from "light to moderate" asthma, a "very common illness."
"With the dose recommended in his case, and in the manner it has been prescribed to him, it's impossible that it could have given a positive reading," Arenas said.
"The cyclist's own record and a study made in March last year demonstrate that Oscar has a sensitivity in his bronchioles which is greater than that of the average of the population, and that causes him to have to take medication if he presents symptoms that might justify it."