Michael Rogers cleared in clenbuterol case, as is Jonathan Breyne, young Belgian who attempted suicide

UCI confirms Rogers free to race, Breyne tells media he's in clear, as explanations of tainted food in China accepted

by Simon_MacMichael   April 23, 2014  

Steaks courtesy http://pdphoto.org/

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Michael Rogers is free to return to racing after world cycling’s governing body, the UCI decided there was a “significant probability” that the clenbuterol for which he tested positive after winning the Japan Cup last October was due to contaminated food eaten in China. Meanwhile, former Crelan-Euphony rider Jonathan Breyne, who attempted suicide after testing positive for the same substance last year, also after racing in China, has reportedly also been exonerated.

Other than stripping Rogers of that Japan Cup victory, in accordance with its rules, world cycling’s governing body said it would take no action against the 34-year-old Australian, who the week beforehand had been riding in China at the Tour of Beijing.

Rogers insisted in December, when he was provisionaly suspended, that he had never “knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol,” and was the victim of food contamination.

In a statement released today, the governing body said: “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.

“As a result, the UCI has proceeded with the automatic disqualification of Mr Rogers’ results at the 2013 Japan Cup Cycle Road Race … but, after consulting WADA, decided that he should not be sanctioned any further.”

It said it would continue to monitor the situation regarding clenbuterol, but reiterated “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 added, however, that “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.”

It’s likely that the experienced Rogers will ride for Tinkoff-Saxo at the Tour de France in support of Alberto Contador – who in 2012 was stripped of his victory in the 2010 edition of that race and banned after testing positive for clenbuterol.

Contador too claimed that he had been the victim of food contamination, but with the steak in question having originated in Spain, the Court of Arbitration for Sport did not accept his excuse.

Reacting to the UCI’s announcement today, Rogers said in a statement: “The UCI acknowledged that the presence of clenbuterol in my sample collected during the 2013 Japan Cup was due – as I always stated – to the consumption of contaminated meat during my stay in China for the Tour of Beijing.

“The UCI, in particular, confirmed the absence of any fault or negligence on my part. Notwithstanding the above, and because the substance was found in my sample during the competition, my result obtained during the 2013 Japan Cup must be automatically disqualified in accordance with the UCI rules. Although this is unfortunate for me, the UCI is bound by its rules and must apply them consistently.

“Over the past four months, my family and I have endured a very difficult time. The UCI’s decision means I can return to racing immediately, and I am looking forward to getting back to work, competing in the sport I love.”

Meanwhile Breyne, who had been due to join the Josan-To Win Cycling Team for 2014, has told the Belgian press that he has been cleared to race again too.

His provisional suspension resulted from a positive test for clenbuterol from a sample also taken in China, at the Tour of Taihu Lake, and was announced on the same day as that of Rogers.

The following week, he was rushed to hospital to have his stomach pumped after taking an overdose.

As with Rogers, the UCI is said to have accepted the 23-year-old’s explanation that clenbuterol was in his system due to his having eaten tainted food, reports Sport.be.

27 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Makes you wonder what the way forward is though. IF there is a problem with food contamination how do you ban some drugs?

It is worth pointing out that the horse meat issue in Europe raises an interesting question over whether many people really know what they are eating. Dope a race horse, eat it what residue will be in the person?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 13:07

like this
Like (17)

Good points mrmo - that's the problem with mass-produced food isn't it? I can only think that the safest route forward is to take your own chef etc. A lot of the teams take their own catering trailer and cook out of that. It does though, raise the possibility that the better-funded a team is (to pay for the above), the less risk of an adverse test...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3063 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 13:32

like this
Like (13)

The bit I like about the UCI statement is "but, after consulting WADA". Would never have happened in my day, said Pat McQuaid. Probably.
Seriously, it is good to see that there is now a UCI/WADA working relationship and common sense appears to have prevailed in these cases. I'm not sure how the UCI can continue to promote the Tour of Beijing under these circumstances though.

posted by pwake [282 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 13:51

like this
Like (15)

I smell Bullsh*t on this one, after the Contador "incident" Tinkoff would be SUPER careful....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8780 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 14:35

like this
Like (23)

notfastenough wrote:
I can only think that the safest route forward is to take your own chef etc. A lot of the teams take their own catering trailer and cook out of that.

Wasn't this suspected to be from a buffet style set up for all riders organised by the UCI themselves.

posted by farrell [1385 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 14:44

like this
Like (8)

Gkam84 wrote:
I smell Bullsh*t on this one, after the Contador "incident" Tinkoff would be SUPER careful....

With Contador wasn't there also the presence of plasticisers which swayed the decision away from being accidentally ingested.

posted by farrell [1385 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 14:51

like this
Like (9)

I don't see how cooking out of your own trailer will stop contaminated meat being used.

Yes, I though Contador got caught with plasticisers in he blood as well as trace amounts on Clenbuterol.

Anyroad, time to mooove on now, nothing to see. It's all udder control. Laughing

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [289 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 15:21

like this
Like (10)

There must be a lot of contaminated meat about in the pro riding sphere...

posted by northstar [1099 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 15:54

like this
Like (14)

northstar wrote:
There must be a lot of contaminated meat about in the pro riding sphere...

Maybe there is a lot of contaminated food around in general...

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/crackdown-on-fake-lamb-meal...

First one that came up.

There is a HUGE issue in the UK, and I suspect elsewhere, of things being sold as something they are not. Short of taking a live chicken with you and processing it yourself you can never be 100% certain that what you eat is what you are being sold. I would strongly suggest the holier than thou brigade do some reading on how compromised the food supply industry is.

Yes there are cheats, but that doesn't mean everyone is cheating.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:01

like this
Like (13)

Oh, look part of my fan club is back : )

posted by northstar [1099 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:09

like this
Like (8)

northstar wrote:
Oh, look part of my fan club is back : )

No fan club, just sick and tired of the sniping, the oh he must be on drugs comments. Maybe he cheated, maybe he didn't.

Problem is the food industry is screwed so we haven't got a clue! You can say take your own food, take your own chefs, but you still can't be certain what you are eating Is what it is labelled as. Throw into the mix that some adulteration is permitted, the use of water to plump up chicken breasts for instance. Whole food industry is a mess and no one really seems too bothered.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:30

like this
Like (11)

No one has said they are on this topic as far as i can see...

There is only so much they can do but some of the so called "performances" still make me laugh.

posted by northstar [1099 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:35

like this
Like (9)

northstar wrote:
No one has said they are on this topic as far as i can see...

Not yet, give it time....

As for cheating, if you get caught you are doing it wrong! No pro tour level rider should be returning positives at a race unless they and their team are stupid.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:50

like this
Like (5)

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
I don't see how cooking out of your own trailer will stop contaminated meat being used.

I was implying that they also bring their own food from abroad, where PRESUMABLY (no guarantees etc), they regularly eat without providing positive tests...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3063 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 16:53

like this
Like (8)

mrmo wrote:
northstar wrote:
No one has said they are on this topic as far as i can see...

Not yet, give it time....

As for cheating, if you get caught you are doing it wrong! No pro tour level rider should be returning positives at a race unless they and their team are stupid.

And they could possibly be justified...

You seem to condone cheating?

posted by northstar [1099 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 17:01

like this
Like (9)

notfastenough wrote:
Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
I don't see how cooking out of your own trailer will stop contaminated meat being used.

I was implying that they also bring their own food from abroad, where PRESUMABLY (no guarantees etc), they regularly eat without providing positive tests...

Not that simple, countries have strict rules about bringing food into the country. You can't bring meat into most, nor poultry. Then you have all the rules around seeds and herbs. Milk and dairy products are another no go area....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8780 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 17:41

like this
Like (14)

northstar wrote:

You seem to condone cheating?

No, cheating is wrong, but it is human nature. I think you will find most people cheat, lying about your age to buy drink, modifying CVs. etc

every rider seeks advantages, i doubt a single top level pro doesn't sale close to the wind when it comes to supplements. However i am hopeful that things are better than they were. I am hopeful that the fall out of the LA affair will warn riders that cheating today may come back and get you later. Your winnings may be stripped, that those years you devote to being a pro will be worth nothing.

And yes i do look at some teams and the way they ride and wonder, i look at how Movistar performed at last years tour and wonder, Sky collapsed, one good day one bad day, but Movistar?

Fundamentally pro sport is about entertainment, was Pantani entertaining, was he on drugs?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 18:47

like this
Like (9)

"... was Pantani entertaining, was he on drugs?"
Hell, yes and hell, yes!!

posted by pwake [282 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 20:17

like this
Like (6)

Truth is, if you are a pro and you know there is a chance of contaminated meat, you do everything in your power to not eat said meat. Especially for what people are calling an "unimportant" race. Also, more people of that period who were racing would of also been caught out if meat was indeed the case.

Cheat or no cheat, if Rogers knew that he was flirting with WADA and potentially ending his career just by eating meat, he would of done what Garmin did and stick to veg and rice.

posted by mudrush [11 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 21:01

like this
Like (10)

mudrush wrote:
Truth is, if you are a pro and you know there is a chance of contaminated meat, you do everything in your power to not eat said meat.

I agree with this.

posted by daddyELVIS [386 posts]
23rd April 2014 - 22:36

like this
Like (13)

"I'm going to take whatever opinion makes me feel like I've outsmarted someone and post it on the internet, despite having no real knowledge about the subject at all."

*Post*

posted by Quince [127 posts]
24th April 2014 - 0:55

like this
Like (9)

The GB team members who raced at the track world cup events in Mexico recently where banned from eating meat as it's known that Mexico has a clenbuterol problem in agriculture, so if they can do why aren't the pro in locations where it's known this is a problem.

posted by usedtobefaster [89 posts]
24th April 2014 - 8:34

like this
Like (4)

I'm glad Breyne has been cleared but I'm a bit less bothered about Rogers whose current team and previous teams are hardly snow-white when it comes to doping.

TBH, if the organisers want to have racing in their country and the food is suspect, it should be up to them to ensure that they source food somewhere it's safe. Positive tests due to food should be a black mark against the organisers as much as the riders. Too many black marks; no race or a downrated one at least.

If I can buy meat from half way across the world and have it delivered to my house and the teams can have their bikes shipped a similar distance (and F1 can take their whole flying circus around the planet), it shouldn't be out of the realms of possibility that the UCI can provide a service to organisers to bring food for 5 days for 150 or so riders.

posted by atlaz [154 posts]
24th April 2014 - 9:24

like this
Like (6)

Non meat protein is available, innit. It's nutrition, not rocket science.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
25th April 2014 - 11:53

like this
Like (0)

'Non meat protein is available, innit.'

available, yes. But who wants to eat a nice nut cutlet instead of a gert big steak?

posted by andyp [850 posts]
25th April 2014 - 12:13

like this
Like (1)

andyp wrote:
'Non meat protein is available, innit.'

available, yes. But who wants to eat a nice nut cutlet instead of a gert big steak?

Perhaps a pro cyclist who wants to continue with his career?
Cool

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
25th April 2014 - 12:21

like this
Like (1)

Next up will be Dave Brailsford telling us that as part of Sky's marginal gains philosophy, they'll have their own herd of organic cows.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
25th April 2014 - 12:23

like this
Like (1)