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Traces of substance found after Australian won October's Japan Cup - he'd been racing in China the previous week...

Saxo-Tinkoff rider Michael Rogers has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for clenbuterol – the same substance that led to team mate Alberto Contador being stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title he won while racing with Astana.

The urine sample that produced the positive test was taken at the Japan Cup, which Rogers won, on 20th October. The Australian rider, aged 33, has the right to request an analysis of his B sample.

The UCI says his provisional suspension “remains in force until a hearing panel convened by his national federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.”

In the week prior to the Japan Cup, Rogers had been competing in the Tour of Beijing in China, where clenbuterol is regularly – and illegally – used to build muscle mass in livestock and poultry, provoking regular food safety scandals.

A statement from Saxo-Tinkoff said that the rider had informed the team's management of the positive test, and added: "The Australian explained to the team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding origins from a contaminated food source.

"Michael Rogers participated in Tour of Beijing the week before the Japan Cup and travelled directly from China to Japan."

There is no minimum threshold required for an adverse analytical finding of clenbuterol to be produced, although there is a potential defence if an athlete can show there was “no fault or negligenge” on their part.

The World Anti Doping Code defines that as “The Athlete's establishing that he or she did not know or suspect, and could not reasonably have known or suspected even with the exercise of utmost caution, that he or she had Used or been administered the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.”

Rogers, a three-time world time trial champion – the first of those came after David Millar was stripped of his 2003 title for doping – joined Saxo-Tinkoff this year after spending two seasons at Team Sky, where he helped Sir Bradley Wiggins win the 2012 Tour de France.

News of his positive test comes the day after the UCI requested British Cycling and UK Anti-Doping to open disciplinary proceedings against Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in connection with his biological passport data.

Ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, China banned its athletes from eating meat due to fears that they could inadvertently ingest clenbuterol from contaminated food. China’s 2009 judo world champion Tong Wen was given a two-year ban in 2010 and stripped of her title when clenbuterol was found in her bloodstream.

Another country acknowledged to have a significant problem with clenbuterol entering the food chain is Mexico.

In 2011 the World Anti-Doping Agency accepted an explanation from FIFA that its was tainted food that had led to five players from the country testing positive for it at the Central American Football championships.

According to a report commissioned by FIFA, 109 players in the 2011 U17 World Cup, held in Mexico, tested positive for clenbuterol, which it said highlighted the scale of the problem there.

At the same time, WADA also agreed with the Danish Cycling Federation that contaminated beef was the explanation for a positive test for the substance by Philip Nielsen at the 2010 Tour of Mexico.

Last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Contador’s claim that his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France was due to a steak bought across the border in Spain that he claimed had been contaminated with it.

WADA insisted that while it acknowledged that contamination of food with clenbuterol was a widespread problem in Mexico and China, there was no such situation in Spain.

While CAS accepted that Contador had not used clenbuterol as a performance enhancing substance, it held that it had found its way into his system through a contaminated food supplement, banning him for two years, most of it backdated, and stripping him of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia wins.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

33 comments

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Skylark [152 posts] 2 years ago
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His turn for Spanish slice of beef.

Sent by ship all the way to Japan.

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zeb [49 posts] 2 years ago
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This is what you get with Kobe beef  16

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Cooks [490 posts] 2 years ago
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steak joke

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samwstraw [27 posts] 2 years ago
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This story is a load of bull.

Road.cc are really milking it.

Just turn the udder cheek.

It was probably an innocent mis-steak.

I'm sure Roger's response will reVEAL the truth.

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Bertie didn't give him the number of his butchers did he ?

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thx1138 [45 posts] 2 years ago
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I like the way ITV call it as "Former Sky rider Rogers tests positive" rather then "Saxo-Tinkoff rider Rogers tests positive" Lazy journalism at best.

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Super Domestique [1596 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't get it. What's your beef with Bertie?

Sorry!  21

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usedtobefaster [171 posts] 2 years ago
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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Man you're in for a shock if you the cow puns were all finished.

Anyway, I'm off to adjust the heating as its fresian cold in here...

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Bagpuss [99 posts] 2 years ago
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You deserve a pat on the back for that one.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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I just cud not resist it

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fatbeggaronabike [807 posts] 2 years ago
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All this bull about beef has put me on the horns of a dilemma as to whether to join the herd or hoofing it on my own.

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 2 years ago
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We can do these till the cows come home.

Rogers clearly doesn't do things by calves. His team obviously weren't giving him the right steer. Anyway, the cattle's out of the bag now... maybe he could still secure a ride at Bovini Fantini (tenuous).

No grand taurs for him next year then (worse)

OK, so I haven't got the (four) stomach(s) for any more puns.

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Colin Peyresourde [1719 posts] 2 years ago
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The filet mignot was meant for Alberto surely!

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YorkshireMike [91 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder if they will take away his JERSEYs...  21

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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@THX1138: Same headline on BBC Sport website. Expected better.

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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Lazy journalism? It's entirely true, is it not?

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AWPeleton [3293 posts] 2 years ago
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lots of jokes but no slagging off like JTL story ?

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FatBoyW [36 posts] 2 years ago
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So the fact that he had just been in China where it is a big problem is not a factor. Maybe the reports could question why race in Mexico or China at all if there is such an issue. It would be interesting if the riders refused to go to such places...

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GazHove [24 posts] 2 years ago
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The bbc have also done this aswell and even pictured him in his sky kit etc also linking him to Jtl. Tabloidesque! It would be like referring to Louis Suarez as former Ajax player rather than a Liverpool player during his infamous biting incident :).... Not that I g ive a hoot about SKY but this would suggest an agenda against them.

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William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:

lots of jokes but no slagging off like JTL story ?

Well JTL hasn't actually been found guilty of anything yet the horrible bastards in SKY have just hung him out to dry like he was a leper.

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 2 years ago
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...why did Sky get rid of him ?  3

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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FatBoyW wrote:

So the fact that he had just been in China where it is a big problem is not a factor. Maybe the reports could question why race in Mexico or China at all if there is such an issue. It would be interesting if the riders refused to go to such places...

If the basis of his defence is racing in a country with a reputation for dodgy meat then you have to question why a pro team ( and in a sport with the kind of history that cycling has) would be as laissez faire about such a thing. Is it beyond their logistical abilities to bring food from trusted sources?

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antonio [1120 posts] 2 years ago
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Cow pat?

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Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 2 years ago
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Saxo have really left him out in the cold. He must be Friesian

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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His career with Saxo is well and truly stuffed.

*Edit*

That's Paxo i'm thinking of, Jesus, what a bell.

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msw [113 posts] 2 years ago
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Him Up North wrote:

@THX1138: Same headline on BBC Sport website. Expected better.

To be fair, "Saxo Bank rider" doesn't add much to the headline. It's reasonable for the BBC to judge it more interesting and newsworthy that he's an ex-Sky rider because of Sky's explicit emphasis on being a clean team, plus of course a greater proportion of their audience will have heard of Sky.

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mrmo [2070 posts] 2 years ago
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FatBoyW wrote:

So the fact that he had just been in China where it is a big problem is not a factor. Maybe the reports could question why race in Mexico or China at all if there is such an issue. It would be interesting if the riders refused to go to such places...

Ask the UCI about the tour of Bejing.

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Chuck [538 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell wrote:

His career with Saxo is well and truly stuffed.

*Edit*

That's Paxo i'm thinking of, Jesus, what a bell.

Sadly Biggins wrote:

Saxo have really left him out in the cold. He must be Friesian

Maybe I've had too much coffee but I thought these were actually pretty good  1

Anyway, as above if it's known to be an issue you'd think the teams would bring their own stuff in, or just forbid steak.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 2 years ago
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ha ha ha, oh dear, another one ...

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