Australia's Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the Japan Cup on October 20th this year with an impressive performance - his first victory in a long time. However, this victory now has a stale aftertaste, because in a sample that was taken from Rogers after the race, the doping investigators were able to detect traces of clenbuterol. This was announced today by the world cycling association UCI.
The sample was tested at the WADA laboratory in Tokyo. Rogers has been suspended for the time being. It is currently unclear when Cycling Australia will take up his case. The three-time time trial world champion can apply for the opening of the B sample. However, should this confirm the result of the A sample, a two-year ban awaits him.
However, Rogers has already stated that the positive sample must be related to his participation in the Tour of Beijing. The stage race in China was held just days before the Japan Cup. The organizers of the race must ensure that the athletes can dine in certified restaurants, i.e. those in which no clenbuterol-laced meat is offered. This is for a reason. The drug is officially used in cattle breeding in China. Roger's teammate Alberto Contador also tried to explain his positive clenbuterol result by ingesting contaminated beef.
In addition to Rogers, the Belgian Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) also tested positive for Clenbuterol. He was tested after winning Stage 8 of the Chinese Tour of Taihu Lake.
Michael Rogers made an official statement today on his Twitter account. He refuses to knowingly take Clenbuterol.
My statement regarding the adverse analytical finding for clenbuterol. pic.twitter.com/25lFsXh4qb
— Michael Rogers (@microgers) 20 December 2013