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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Galdeano drugs test justified
Igor Gonzalez Galdeano
The authorities are aware of Galdeano's medical needs
Cycling's world governing body has justified a positive drugs test by Tour de France leader Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, citing "medical reasons".

Tour spokesman Philippe Sudres revealed that "traces of salbutamol were found in a 12 July test" after the Forges-les-Eaux to Alencon stage.

However, cycling's governing body, the UCI, is aware of Galdeano's medical reasons for using the substance.

'Level too high'

The ONCE rider takes salbutamol to treat his asthma, which is allowed provided athletes have a medical prescription for its use.

The Tour's deputy director, Daniel Baal added: "The UCI has long had a medical justification for this rider."

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency do not agree.

The chairman of WADA's European branch, Dr Alain Garnier, said that there was too much salbutamol in Galdeano's urine in one recent Tour test for it to be justified on medical grounds.

Galdeano was found to have a level of 1,360 nanogrammes per millimetre.

Garnier said: "Above 1,000 nanogrammes, salbutamol is considered an anabolic agent and its use to this extent cannot be medically explained."

Galdeano lost the lead to American Lance Armstrong on Thursday's stage 11, and dropped further behind on Friday.

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