Michael Rogers says he's victim of food contamination in clenbuterol case

Cycling Australia says it will support maximum sentence if Saxo-Tinkoff rider found guilty

by Simon_MacMichael   December 20, 2013  

Michael Rogers (CC licensed on Flickr by Alain Stoll)

Saxo-Tinkoff rider Michael Rogers has said that he has never “knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol,” and insists he is the victim of food contamination.

The UCI revealed on Wednesday that a sample taken from the 33-year-old Australian at October’s Japan Cup had tested positive for the banned substance.

Rogers believes it was while taking part in the Tour of Beijing the previous week that he ate food contaminated with the substance, which is widely (and illegally) used in China to build muscle mass in livestock. In sport it is most widely used as a masking agent.

In a statement released today, Rogers said: "I would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible that I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol.

"I can advise that during the period 8th-17th of October, before arriving in Japan, I was present in China for the World Tour race, Tour of Beijing.

"I understand that it has been acknowledged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as other anti-doping bodies, that food contaminated with clenbuterol is a serious problem in China.

"In the following weeks I will have the opportunity to explain this unfortunate situation to the UCI, in which I will give my full attention and co-operation to resolve this issue in the quickest time frame possible."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has previously said that sportspeople should "exercise extreme caution with regards to eating meat when travelling to competitions in China and Mexico."

Yesterday, Cycling Australia (CA) said that it would push for the maximum possible penalty if Rogers were found guilty.

“Whilst we respect Michael Rogers’s right to defend himself, we will support the maximum sanctions under the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code if he is found guilty of doping," it said.

“The fact that the drug testing process continues to uncover positive tests should be a lesson to all cyclists that if they chose to dope they can expect to be caught.



“For too long the sport of cycling has been let down at the international level by drug cheats and CA supports every measure to detect and prosecute doping offenders.



“CA will support WADA, ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) and the applicable National Federation in whatever action they deem appropriate.”

18 user comments

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I didn't know that the El Pistolero Steakhouse had branches in China too.

posted by MartinH [17 posts]
20th December 2013 - 15:17

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Pull the udder one... Thinking

posted by Skidz [5 posts]
20th December 2013 - 15:35

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You know, I'd be tempted to believe it, if this was an isolated case and given the China visit. But being busted for exactly the same thing as Contador was? Pull the other one.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [759 posts]
20th December 2013 - 15:36

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Skidz wrote:
Pull the udder one... Thinking

No! I'm getting a bad case of deja-moo

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
20th December 2013 - 15:38

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I knew there would be a tale (tail) behind it!

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
20th December 2013 - 16:33

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I think this is going to be a story of two calves

posted by kitkat [193 posts]
20th December 2013 - 16:40

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In an effort to stop the rubbish jokes ( which did make me chuckle Laughing ), I can see that this is a plausible excuse and what he says is true, however I find it very difficult to believe he would be the only rider caught out, surely he ate the same stuff as the rest of the team, I find it hard to believe only one person would get done if the issue is as big as they claim.

Still... I guess we must believe him as its not common for a cyclist to deny drug taking Silly

posted by mikeprytherch [211 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:12

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Easy peasy....check the tests results of team mates and other all he other riders who raced and were teseted in China. If claim is true then some others MUST also have the drug present...

Unless he snuck out on his own for a snack of street food in one of the night markets...

posted by wildoo [24 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:24

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wildoo wrote:
Easy peasy....check the tests results of team mates and other all he other riders who raced and were teseted in China. If claim is true then some others MUST also have the drug present...

Unless he snuck out on his own for a snack of street food in one of the night markets...

If those team mates were all tested at the same time as Rogers and if those riders tested had eaten the exact same meals as Rogers then yes, that would be the easy option.

I think you should be able to see why this isn't as "easy peasy" as you first suggested.

Rogers is screwed here though, because if he has doped he should be banned, if he has eaten elsewhere he will be banned because he should really have known better and if he has ingested this through meals provided by the organisers then it's the UCI in the shit and unfortunately they aren't going to upset their pet project over in Beijing so he will be turned over. He can contest and contest and contest until the cows come home, but of what use will that be years down the line at 36/37 years old?

posted by farrell [1311 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:36

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@ mikeprythherch

Rogers wasn't the only one as a less well known rider was also banned while after riding in china: Jonathan Breyne, of Crelan-Euphony

also, it's not really weird that only a few were caught as per race-day only a hand full of riders were tested (the 3 podium finishers and 3 random riders usually)

Seeing the timing, location and importance of the race i tend to believe rogers, also the case of Contador isn't to be seen in the same light as this, as it happened in different times with different teams.(and the Contador case was very much an edge case with the ridiculous low value found at the time)

If this was an out of competition test it could have meant something else: a rider using the off season for doping methods to gain strength in a period of little testing. (but that's what out of competition testing is for these days)

posted by KnightBiker [40 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:36

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KnightBiker wrote:
Rogers wasn't the only one as a less well known rider was also banned while after riding in china: Jonathan Breyne, of Crelan-Euphony

Bloody hell - Breyne didn't take the news very well at all, he's tried to off himself after the positive result and is currently recovering in hospital:
http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/16038/Report-Depressed-at-Clenbuterol-...

I hope he gets better soon.

posted by farrell [1311 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:56

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wildoo wrote:
Easy peasy....check the tests results of team mates and other all he other riders who raced and were teseted in China. If claim is true then some others MUST also have the drug present...

Unless he snuck out on his own for a snack of street food in one of the night markets...

A good idea but too late, it will be out of their system now. Its takes too long to get a result. Rogers was tested because he won but assuming other people ate the same food as him, but were they tested.....case might hang on this.

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
20th December 2013 - 18:45

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How much does it cost to test them? surely it'd be better for the sport to simply test everyone in a competition, or at least a random sample of ten percent or above?

posted by GREGJONES [111 posts]
20th December 2013 - 21:04

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aye matey. when you go to China, don't order the Spanish beef!

posted by abovetheclouds [6 posts]
20th December 2013 - 21:06

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The rider is responsible for what he eats. He should have learned from other rider's experience. There can be no excuses, the rules are very clear.

Trying not to bonk!

posted by Hypoglycaemic [21 posts]
20th December 2013 - 21:25

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allez neg wrote:
Skidz wrote:
Pull the udder one... Thinking

No! I'm getting a bad case of deja-moo

What a hilarious coincidence

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
20th December 2013 - 22:39

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If the riders really believe that there's a big problem going to races where they are going to ingest tainted food, then they need to start speaking out and pushing for change with WADA *before* they get busted.

When Li Fuyu tested positive in early 2010 I don't recall Contador or Rogers using their position as Tour winner or World Champion to champion the case of riders. No, they all spout the same shite:

"I can only assure everyone that I am racing clean and I hope to restore faith in cycling. I have never taken performance enhancing drugs and I will never test...

..oh shit!"

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
20th December 2013 - 23:02

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Hypoglycaemic wrote:
The rider is responsible for what he eats. He should have learned from other rider's experience. There can be no excuses, the rules are very clear.

That's an interesting opinion coming from someone in a country were a significant portion of the population were unwittingly ingesting horse meat!

posted by pwake [280 posts]
21st December 2013 - 14:52

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