De Merode said yesterday he had spoken to the International Cycling Union and supported their position that Indurain was taking a drug that both the IOC and UCI allowed asthma sufferers to use.
Indurain tested positive after the Tour de L'Oise on 15 May, for the drug Salbutamol, which is found in some inhalers used by asthma sufferers. It is on the IOC's list of banned or controlled substances but sportsmen with asthma were allowed to use it.
However, Salbutamol is banned altogether by the French sports ministry. - Prince Alexandre de Merode, confirmed yesterday that documents detailing 'five or six' positive dope tests were taken from his hotel room after the 1984 Los Angeles Games and destroyed.
A swimming meet in Mulhouse, France, on 14 September has banned the Chinese women's team because of their drugs-tarnished image.