British cyclist Simon Yates
Britain's Simon Yates could still compete at the Olympics in Rio. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

British cyclist Simon Yates has been handed a four-month ban after failing an in-competition drugs test. The 23-year-old athlete will now miss the Tour de France, but as the sanction applies from March, Yates will hope to return later in July.

The failed test was first confirmed in April, when his team Orica-GreenEdge blamed an "administrative error" over the use of an asthma inhaler. At the time, the racing team assumed "full responsibility for the mistake", insisting there was "no wrongdoing" on the part of Yates.

In a statement, Shayne Bannan, the team's general manager, said: "Simon cannot be blamed, but above all we are happy that it has now come to a conclusion. Simon has been training well and we welcome him back on the roster for a strong second part of the season."

Yates and his brother Adam – who is set to lead Orica-GreenEdge at the Tour de France – are strong contenders to make the TeamGB road race team for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Yates will return at the Tour of Poland, which starts on 12 July, and will be available for the Games in Brazil.