Tim Wellens says that he will not use asthma medication despite being told about improved breathing
Belgian cyclist Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) says that he refuses to be dependent on inhalers, and is against the use asthma drugs by professional cyclists.
Wellens’s comments come as Team Sky’s Chris Froome is involved in an investigation with the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) after being found to have twice the permitted concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol in his urine in a test at the Vuelta a España.
Froome denies exceeding the permitted dosage for salbutamol of 800mg per 12 hours, and must prove that the high concentration of the drug was not as a result of exceeding that dosage.
Speaking to Belgian broadcaster RTBF, Wellens said that he had decided against using an inhaler despite the advice of doctors, but said that many riders took a different stance.
“If the public knew how many cyclists have inhalers… It’s huge, and sometimes it’s also a bit in the head,” Wellens said.
“As a pro cyclist, I do a lot of tests in the hospital, I sometimes feel some discomfort in the bronchi, so I learned that with a puff, I could increase my breathing capacity by seven or eight per cent!
“The doctors told me that I could use an inhaler, without a certificate, but I’m against