Michael Rogers provisionally suspended for Clenbuterol adverse analytical finding
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Michael Rogers provisionally suspended for Clenbuterol adverse analytical finding

by Ben Atkins at 11:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Australian returned non-negative sample after October’s Japan Cup victory

michael rogers Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) has been provisionally suspended from competition, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced, after having returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol. The Australian was tested after having won the Japan Cup race on October 20th, with the sample analysed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Tokyo.

Clenbuterol is the substance that saw Rogers’ teammate Alberto Contador suspended for two years, and stripped of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia titles. Both riders were on different teams at the time, however, with Contador at Astana, and Rogers art HTC-Colombia. Contador’s defence was based on a claim that he must have eaten a contaminated steak but, while the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) accepted that he had accidentally ingested the minuscule amount of the substance, it was decided that it must have been a dietary supplement that had been contaminated and he was banned under the principle of strict liability.

Rogers’ non-negative is based on testing of his A-sample, and has the right to request the analysis of his B-sample. He will remain provisionally suspended pending a hearing convened by the Cycling Australia, after which - should he be found guilty of a doping offence - he could be suspended for up to two years.

In addition to Rogers, the UCI has also announced that Crelan-Euphony rider Jonathan Breyne has also returned a positive A-sample for Clenbuterol, and is also provisionally suspended. The 22-year-old Belgian, who is set to join the Continental team Josan-ToWin in 2014, was tested at the Tour of Taihu Lake, in China, on November 5th.

Breyne also has the right to request the analysis of his B-sample, and also faces a ban of up to two years after appearing in front of a hearing panel of the Belgian Cycling Federation.

With Breyne having returned his sample in China, and with Rogers having raced the Tour of Beijing just days before his appearance in Japan, both riders may call upon the same defence as Contador, however, with more possibility of success than the Spanish rider.

WADA has warned in the past that athletes faced the risk of eating contaminated meat while racing in China or Mexico, advising them to only eat at places approved by the event organiser. It also put the onus on event organisers to “ensure that the meat available to athletes is not contaminated.”

If the two riders can show that they accidentally ingested the Clenbuterol through food eaten at the races - especially if it were provided by the race organisation - they may reduce their liability.

The race organiser at the Tour of Beijing is Global Cycling Promotion, the UCI’s own for-profit race promotion arm.


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