HUY, Belgium, April 23, 2014 (AFP) – The International Cycling Union (UCI)
on Wednesday lifted its doping ban on Australian Michael Rogers, who last year
tested positive for clenbuterol.
Rogers was provisionally banned after testing for the banned stimulant,
which increases aerobic capacity, in a urine sample at the Japan Cup last
However, the 34-year-old has now been partially exonerated as the UCI
accepted his claim that he had not taken the substance intentionally.
“Upon careful analysis of Mr Rogers’ explanations and the accompanying
technical reports, the UCI found that that there was a significant probability
that the presence of clenbuterol may have resulted from the consumption of
contaminated meat from China — where he had taken part in a race before
travelling to Japan,” said a UCI statement.
The Tinkoff-Saxo rider was nonetheless stripped of his victory in Japan,
although he is now free to continue racing.
Rogers was one of double Tour de France winner Alberto Contador’s main
lieutenants at last year’s Grand Boucle.
He is a three-time track world champion and finished second to Bradley
Wiggins at the prestigious 2012 Criterium du Dauphine.
Rogers is not the first athlete to be caught out by meat contaminated with
clenbuterol in China.
Beijing Olympic heavyweight judo champion Tong Wen tested positive for
clenbuterol in 2010 and was initially banned for two years and stripped of her
2009 world title.
However, she contested the ban, took her case to the Court of Arbitration
for Sport and successfully had her suspension overturned, allowing her to win
another world title in 2011 and take bronze at the London Olympics the next
The UCI were keen to stress, though, that eating contaminated meat will not
always be accepted as an excuse for taking clenbuterol.
“The UCI reiterates that the presence of clenbuterol in a urine sample
constitutes an anti-doping rule violation under the World Anti-Doping Code and
the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
“It is generally acknowledged that in certain countries a risk of meat
contaminated by clenbuterol can exist and produce, in specific conditions, a
positive sample from an athlete.
“WADA has issued specific warnings about this problem in China and Mexico.
Consequently, the UCI reiterates its recommendations to the athletes and teams
concerned to avoid eating meat in these countries.”