The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has said that it plans to appeal a decision of the Mexico Football Federation to clear five players from doping charges resulting from their testing positive for clenbuterol after accepting their defence that they had eaten contaminated meat.
WADA, and world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, have of course already lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following Alberto Contador’s acquittal on doping charges after he tested positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France. Those appeals are now due to be heard in November.
While Contador has always insisted that his positive test resulted from tainted meat, after eating a steak that had been brought across the border from Spain, the risk of innocent consumption there is much lower than in Mexico or China, the two countries where athletes are seen as being most at risk of ingesting clenbuterol unknowingly through food.
Five Mexican players tested positive for clenbuterol prior to the Concacaf Cup tournament, and although they were dropped from the squad they have not been sanctioned, reports AP, which added that the country’s president, Felipe Calderon, has admitted that illegal use of clenbuterol to build muscle mass in livestock is an issue in the country.
It added that FIFA president Sepp Blatter had endorsed the decision of the Mexican Football Federation not to sanction the players, saying "it's definitely a case of food contamination".
Meanwhile, Floyd Landis, stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title after failing a doping control, has claimed that his former coach Pepe Marti, who later worked with Contador, supplied him with doping products.
In an interview with German TV channel ARD, Landis said that Marti was "nothing more than a known drug dealer," reports Eurosport.
Marti worked with Landis at US Postal, which had changed its name to Discovery Channel by the time Contador joined. The Spaniard won his first Tour de France title with the team in 2007.
"Pepe was a supplier of drugs to US Postal when I was in the team," insisted Landis.
"I often used him to buy growth hormones, EPO and other doping products. He was not a coach. He was nothing more than a known drug dealer. "
Contador’s spokesman Jacinto Vidarte was quick to repudiate Landis’s claims. "Alberto knew Martiwhen he was at Discovery," he said.
"As he was then a coach at the team, he was in charge of training. He also fulfilled that role at Astana as he moved into the Kazakh set-up after the North American team folded.
"This year, the only people responsible for Alberto’s calendar and preparation are the members of the Saxo Bank team and Bjarne Riis. What he says about Marti is false."
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.