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Tuesday 19, Sep 2017

  Cookson Claims Substantial Support In UCI President Re-Election Bid

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International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has claimed he has the support of 30 of the 45 votes required to be re-elected as chief of the world governing body of cycling at the world governing body’s Congress.

Cookson claimed he has received a good response from the voting delegates. The 66-year-old Briton suggested he has enough support to secure a second term and added those who vote against him may have some small political concerns.

Brian added he has a track record that anyone can examine. The UCI President added Ireland’s Pat McQuaid whom he defeated in a bitter election campaign four years ago has been actively campaigning for his rival David Lappartient. Cookson claimed the Frenchman had offered him the position of UCI Honorary President. The world governing body of cycling’s chief added he had of course seen the declarations Pat McQuaid has made recently in support of David in the media and he had also been shown proof that Pat is actively lobbying on David’s behalf and went on to say that the appointment of McQuaid in a senior role at the UCI would be a grave concern for anyone who can recall the disastrous situation that the UCI was in just four-years ago under his leadership.

Cookson said he is focused on running his own campaign with the support of people who have contributed to restoring trust in our sport, to take cycling forward and build on the great achievements we have had over the past four years. The International Cycling Union President said it is however disappointing that David Lappartient has not come out renouncing the support of Pat McQuaid, but having hosted Pat and other former executives at the first Elite European Road Championships in France last year and added he is not surprised as that speaks volumes for the devastating direction David would take the UCI in if he wins next week’s election.

    The 66-year-old Cookson has prioritized ensuring equal opportunities for men and women to participate and compete, championing cycling for transport and leisure, and accelerating international development. The UCI President also expressed his desire to build on restored credibility and ensure the world governing body of cycling continues to drive excellence in operations. Cookson blasted everyone who placed doubts on his leadership skills by saying he was the one who put his head above the parapet when the sport was engulfed with doping and corruption allegations coming from everywhere, if you talk about leadership, no-one else wanted to take that on and challenge the status quo and the people who had run cycling into the ground in the previous period.

Lappartient claimed the emails from McQuaid were a personal act on his part. Lappartient claimed it has been reported that McQuaid has sent an email to a couple of delegates, whom he knows, by telling them his personal opinion about Brian Cookson and therefore calling on them to support his candidature. Lappartient added this was a personal act of McQuaid and not on his demand.

McQuaid admitted he had sent an email to voting delegates of UCI in support of Lappartient but claimed suggestions of such a deal was “absolute rubbish.”

Europe has the largest bloc with 15 delegates and the voters include nine delegates each from Africa, the Americas and Asia, with three more from Oceania.

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Wednesday 02, Aug 2017

  Use Of Mechanical Doping Denied By Italian Rider

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Alessandro Andreoli, the 53 year-old Italian rider who was reportedly caught with a hidden motor in his bike, has denied any wrongdoing.

Andreoli said he recently started to do well in local age-related races after resolving a back problem. The Italian rider claimed his rivals may have tipped off race organizers as he had managed to beat them and because of his wealthy lifestyle. Andreoli refused to visit a specialist mechanic to have the bike dismantled after being caught and claimed he had to go to a wedding.

The hidden motor was detected after a thermal camera was used by the race organizers to scan suspicious bikes. The race was organized under the auspices of the Centro Sportivo Italiano, an amateur sports body affiliated to the Italian Olympic Committee. It was announced by Emiliano Scalfi, the vice-president of the CSI in the province of Brescia, that there was a tip-off and the CSI decided to deploy an expensive heat gun provided by a local businessman and cycling fan.

Scalfi remarked we had some precise information and we proceeded accordingly. The vice-president of the CSI said we saw when we looked that in the seat tube of one rider it looked as though there was a fire.

Andreoli finished third in the race and was asked to bring his bike to the commissaires for further inspection. The 53 year-old Italian rider refused to take the bike to a specialist and Andreoli refused and reportedly admitted to using mechanical doping. He later backtracked and said he would suspend himself from racing until formal investigation and eventual trial is held. Andreoli remarked they wanted to control my bike, the judges kept it for an hour and a half while he was getting changed and said they later claimed there was a hidden motor but they didn’t find anything and the wheels didn’t turn. Andreoli added if the reports of mechanical doping about his bike were true then riders who finished with him had motors too and also commented that he had seen a lot of people finish ahead of him without them suffering. The Italian rider also said he had to go to a wedding and it was getting late. Andreoli remarked he never admitted anything about mechanical doping.

A photo of the alleged bike was published by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The picture suggested a motor was hidden in the down tube, with a bulge under the right-hand brake lever covering the button that activated the motor. The bike has race number 891 and it was confirmed by Andreoli that race number 891 was his number for the event. Andreoli said he purchased the bike from someone in Tuscany while on holiday. Andreoli has reportedly won several races this season after rarely being in the results and went on to suggest that his rivals who tipped off the race organizers were simply envious.

The incident is the second confirmed instance of mechanical doping after Femke Van Den Driessche was discovered to have had a bike containing a motor at the 2016 Cyclo-cross World Championships. The rider was banned for a period of six years and fined 20,000 Swiss Francs by the UCI, the world governing body of cycling.

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Monday 31, Oct 2016

  Spanish Rider Banned For Doping

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The UCI, the world governing body of cycling, has imposed a doping ban of three years and nine months on Spanish rider Alberto Gallego. The Spanish professional cyclist tested positive for Stanozolol just three days into his career.

The 25-year-old was just a few days into his career as a professional rider after joining the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team when his doping sample revealed the presence of Stanozolol. The cyclist was handed a provisional suspension in January by the UCI and his contract was rescinded by Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team.

In a statement, the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team said after the provisional suspension was announced that it has decided to rescind the contract of the rider Alberto Gallego after finding about anomalies discovered in the result of a control carried out on January 3, 2016. The statement further reads the rider came into the team on January 1, 2016 and he had not participated in any race on this season’s program.

A few days back, the cyclist was added to the UCI list of sanctions. His ban effective from the date of the test will run until the 25th October 2019, by which point Gallego will be nearly 28 years of age.

In his defense, Gallego had claimed he was the victim of supplement contamination. In an open letter, the Spanish rider said his reaction could have been what it was: incredulity. The rider he has never taken Stanozolol and did not even knew what it is used for and added he now knows that it is more suited for a bodybuilder than a professional cyclist. Gallego said he is also now aware that the banned substance stays in the system for long and it will be illogical to think that he would have used Stanozolol to improve his performances.

Alberto Gallego also remarked he is very well aware of the fact that many would not believe his innocence and claims but he has no doubts about it. Gallego further added he is more than certain after checking once more all the supplements he had used in recent years that Stanozolol does not appear on any of the labels. The cyclist said he therefore assumes he is a victim of supplement contamination.

The Spaniard impressed on the Spanish amateur scene and was ranked number one before he earned a deal with Radio Popular in 2014. Gallego earned his contract with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team after catching the eye at last year’s Route du Sud where he finished seventh on the queen stage and went on to finish seventh overall behind the likes of Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana.

Manager Juanma Hernandez, while announcing the signing of Gallego, had remarked the cyclist can make very valid contributions to the team. The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team manager had further remarked the profile of Gallego fits well with our team and added he is a courageous rider who climbs very well and is one of the great young assets of our national cycling.

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Monday 17, Oct 2016

  Former Cyclist Reveals Ways Of Exploiting TUE Loopholes

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Former professional David Millar in a revealing opinion piece published in the New York Times titled ‘How to get away with doping’ has provided a detailed account of his personal use of use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during his career.

Millar offered an account about the powerful effects of Kenacort and how the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have failed in their oversight of the list of drugs available with a Therapeutic Use Exemption and in their administration of the application process.

Millar said Kenacort was so powerful that it was ultimately destructive. The former cyclist said the substance, apart from being a catabolic agent, would also suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Millar said he took Kenacort only twice after 2001: for the 2002 Vuelta a España and the 2003 Tour de France. The ex-cyclist went on to reveal that he used to take an initial 20 to 40 milligram dose, and then topped up with 10 to 20 milligrams about 10 days later both times in order to prolong the effects into the final week of the three-week stage race and to avoid too rapid a descent off it. Millar added he was taking this powerful, potentially dangerous drug as a performance enhancer, yet he was doing so within the rules — thanks to the T.U.E. loophole.

Millar was arrested by French police in 2004 and confessed to making the use of Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2001 and 2003. The UCI imposed a ban of two years on him in August 2004 and Millar was stripped of his 2003 individual time trial world title and was fired by his Cofidis team.

Millar made a return to racing in 2006 with Saunier Duval–Prodir but would leave the team at the end of 2007 season to join the newly created Slipstream–Chipotle outfit. The American team and its owner Jonathan Vaughters on a strong anti-doping stance with Millar becoming a spokesman for ‘clean cycling’.

Millar wrote in the New York Times article that he served a ban of two years but he was at least free of all the deception and disgust. The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist said he was determined to do everything in his power when he returned to the sport for preventing the next generation of riders having to make the decisions he had made. Millar said telling his story is his way of helping to prevent other athletes’ careers being poisoned as his was. The former professional cyclist also wrote he believes the “the biggest races are today being won by clean riders.”

The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist added the Fancy Bears hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the release of Therapeutic Use Exemptions for athletes such as Team Sky’s Tour de France winners Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome has opened the world’s eyes to a disturbingly gray area in sporting law: the therapeutic use exemption, and shown the system is open to abuse.

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Monday 19, Oct 2015

  USA Cycling To Ban People With Doping History To Work

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USA Cycling will very soon enact a formal zero-tolerance doping policy for its contractors and employees to draw a line the stand by defining who all can and cannot work at the US governing body of cycling.

The policy is likely to be enacted within weeks and still under evaluation by internal counsel. This policy will be roughly structured into two branches, each defined by the individuals it will prohibit from working at or with USA Cycling. The first section of the policy states that any employee or contractor with a proven doping past will not be hired to work directly with athletes. In other words, any coach, trainer or doctor must have a clean record under the new policy.

Derek Bouchard-Hall, USA Cycling’s new CEO, defined “proven doping past” as having been sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Bouchard-Hall added this has already been done informally, but we’re putting into a formal policy and also commented that we are not in the business of evaluating rumor and innuendo but with a proven doping past, you will not work at USA Cycling with athletes.

The second section of the policy states that USA Cycling will not hire any employee or contractor (who has a proven connection to doping from “this point forward“), whether he or she works directly with athletes or not. In other words, f a rider or coach or doctor is found guilty from October 2015 onward, he or she cannot work at USA Cycling in any capacity. USA Cycling, to augment this new policy, will be asking new employees to sign a statement when they are hired that will verify they have never been involved in doping in any way. If an employee is proven to be involved in doping after hiring, he or she will be terminated.

Bouchard-Hall added USA Cycling would also want current employees to sign such a statement. He also remarked we are seeking to do that with all employees, including those that are here today and added but that’s a legal nuance we need to work out, whether we can do that or not. Previously, Bouchard-Hall described the new, tougher stance of the organization on dopers in broad terms to express the requirement for evaluating the context of doping offenses before meting out punishment. Bouchard-Hall

Bouchard-Hall said athletes should learn that doping can have professional ramifications well after their riding career is over. He also commented that it is not at all about vengeance but this is about stopping doping in the future. The USA Cycling’s new CEO also said the policies that we’re making are not about putting further penalties on those in the past, it’s about how we stop doping going forward. Bouchard-Hall also clarified that his recent statement that there will be no coaches working with our athletes or directly with athletes who have a doping past was not understood rightly. He said the policy does not apply beyond USA Cycling employees and into American-registered teams and riders.

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Friday 14, Aug 2015

  Athletics Should Follow Anti-Doping Lead Of Cycling, Says Froome

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Team Sky rider Chris Froome has urged athletics to follow the lead of cycling and emphasize on investing a lot more money in anti-doping.

The double Tour de France champion remarked testing in athletics is not up to the level as in cycling from what he understands. Froome also commented that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, spends about four times what is spent by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) spends on testing. He added the IAAF is going to have to invest a lot more heavily in anti-doping and also remarked that would be a step in the right direction.

Presently, the IAAF spends about £1.3m a year on anti-doping as compared to £6m spent by the UCI. A big majority of UCI’s anti-doping expenditure comes from the professional teams as a condition for their licenses to compete in UCI competitions.

Froome also added that he believes some things have changed quite substantially for cycling since the dark ages of 10-15 years ago when the sport was really dirty. The Team Sky rider said testing in cycling has really evolved and the world governing body of cycling has now implemented 24-hour testing and went on to add that he has every confidence that the system now really works. Froome also revealed he has no issues with night time testing and told he was tested at his Monaco apartment at 3pm on Sunday as that demonstrates to fans that he is clean.

Cycling’s tainted era legacy is too obvious to Chris Froome who was subjected to ridicule. During this year’s Tour de France, one fan threw urine at him and other fans spitted at him. Froome’s teammate Richie Porte was punched during a stage. Froome said he does not blame fans for wrongdoings on the roadside and remarked his anger is rather directed at supposed cycling experts in the media who have left no stone unturned in casting suspicious about Froome’s performances.

The rider added the fans were only following the words of the media who were saying this team is not believable and also remarked if the public is told that enough times by journalists, it’s only natural that’s what people will believe. Froome also said he does not think any sportsman should have to go through what we went through during this year’s Tour de France.

Team Sky released Froome’s performance data during this year’s Tour to dispel the negativity surrounding their ace rider. Froome also promised to undergo independent physiological tests that could be shared publicly. Froome said it is something he wanted to do from the start of the season, even before all this came up during the Tour. The cyclist added the physiological testing could even help him understand what makes me him who he is and what it is about him that allows him to make the efforts he does. Froome also said he is open to do the VO2 max test that many of his critics have asked for and added there are plans to perform the peak oxygen uptake assessment but also commented he “would not be rushing into it”.

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Tuesday 17, Mar 2015

  Other Sports Should Order Independent Reports, Says Tour De France Boss

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Other Sports Should Order Independent Reports, Says Tour De France Boss

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has urged other international federations to “clean” and investigate their sport.

Ahead of the start of the last stage of Paris-Nice, Prudhomme said on Sunday that cycling had been at the forefront of the fight against doping after being haunted by many doping scandals. Prudhomme made these remarks after the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, published an independent report into the dirty past of cycling.

The Tour de France director was quick to welcome publication of the Independent Reform Commission’s (CIRC’s) report. Prudhomme remarked the CIRC report suggests that cycling, which became the sport that first implemented the biological passport in 2008, had shown great strength to deal with doping issues. Prudhomme added the report was ordered by the UCI and it exists because the management of the UCI wanted it, which shows that there have been improvements in a world that is not perfect but the fight against doping is a permanent fight. Prudhomme explained we are on the right track but we must not be complacent.

Prudhomme went on to remark that cycling was and is not the only sport that is hit with doping problems. He remarked cycling cannot be singled out and you cannot just put it in a corner and added that he thinks we all dream that all the international federations order an independent report to look into what’s going on in their patch. The director of the prestigious Tour de France event went on to say that the report by CIRC demonstrated that doping had not been entirely eradicated and was less prevalent with some riders still abusing corticoids and using micro-dosing to avoid detection.

The CIRC report is not exhaustive in nature. It has its share of shortcomings as the report drew conclusions with less than 6% of the interviewees being current professional riders. Prudhomme said he sees that many people from the UCI have been interviewed, which is logical because it was the primary goal of the report, but it would not have been shocking to see more professional riders being interviewed.

The UCI was quick to unveil a series of anti-doping recommendations after the CIRC report went public. The world governing body of cycling now wants night-time access to riders and “more robust” re-testing of their stored samples. The UCI will ask more of its independent anti-doping unit (CADF) and may recruit an intelligence manager to work with customs and law enforcement agencies. In addition to these recommendations, the UCI also plans to create a fit-and-proper test for team directors and doctors, re-launched whistleblower hotline, and faster prosecutions of biological passport cases.

Prudhomme applauded the recommendations and said there are already a lot of measures — just look at what cycling is doing compared with other sports. He added but the co-operation with the pharmaceutical industry is, I think, a great leap forward, which will bring quick results.

Prudhomme also said he is hopeful for a quick resolution of the Team Astana issue and remarked we all know that it can drag along. The Kazakh-funded outfit would lose their automatic Tour spot if the UCI License Commission accepts the request of the UCI and that would mean Vincenzo Nibali, the Tour de France 2014 winner, may lose out on starting the world’s greatest cycling race on July 4.

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Thursday 08, Jan 2015

  Anti-doping Regulations For 2015 Revamped By UCI

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Anti-doping Regulations For 2015 Revamped By UCI

The Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events, has revamped its rules in line with the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The new rules now includes a 10-year statute of limitations (up from eight), more explicit consequences for riders who are found associated with banned individuals, the ability to impose anti-doping rule violations on individuals based upon third-party testimony, four-year bans for serious doping cases, and more clarity on Therapeutic Use Exemptions. The world governing body of cycling’s rules now allow it to ban and impose fine on teams for incurring multiple doping violations.

The new regulations allow the UCI to impose fines a WorldTour or Professional Continental team five per cent of their annual budget upon the second and the third confirmed doping sanctions in a 12-month period. Now, teams can face suspension from international competition for a period of 15-45 days upon the second notification of an anti-doping rule violation, depending on a decision by the UCI Disciplinary Commission. Previously, teams were punished only for an individual rider’s anti-doping rule violation in relation to a team competition, such as a team time trial or team pursuit, by result disqualifications.

Cheating cyclists who promptly admit to doping can have their doping ban reduced to two years depending on the seriousness of the violation.

A comment reads use or Attempted Use may also be established by other reliable means such as admissions by the Rider, witness statements, documentary evidence, conclusions drawn from longitudinal profiling, including data collected as part of the Rider Biological Passport, or other analytical information which does not otherwise satisfy all the requirements to establish “Presence” of a Prohibited Substance under Article 2.1.

The new UCI anti-doping regulations apply to everyone who is participating in cycling events in any capacity, and anyone associated with teams, support, or preparation of riders, whether they have a UCI license or not. The new rules state that any association by riders with a banned individual “in a professional or sport-related capacity” can result in an anti-doping rule violation. The specific language of the latest anti-doping regulations allows for a rider to receive punishment to be punished for associating not only with someone who has been banned for an anti-doping rule violation but also anyone who has been “convicted or found in a criminal, disciplinary or professional proceeding” to have done something that would constitute an anti-doping rule violation if the rules had been applied to them.

The world governing body of cycling also included a provision to apply the rules to individuals who are a “front or intermediary” for a banned person. The UCI however specifies that riders will be provided ample warning before they will be punished. Under the rules, it is necessary in order for this provision to apply that the Rider or other Person has previously been advised in writing by an Anti-Doping Organization with jurisdiction over the Rider or other Person, or by WADA, of the Rider Support Person’s disqualifying status and the potential consequence of prohibited association.

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Thursday 10, Jul 2014

  UCI Efforts To Stamp Out Doping Applauded By IOC

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Anti-doping efforts initiated by UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have impressed the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.

The IOC remarked Brian Cookson, the UCI president, and other UCI officials met Bach in Lausanne and briefed him on measures for protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the sport of cycling. Bach remarked the efforts of UCI to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping were indeed impressive.

Bach spoke positively of the progress being made by the UCI after having a meeting with the UCI President, UCI director-general Martin Gibbs, and IOC counterpart Christophe De Kepper in Lausanne. Bach remarked the UCI informed me of all the measures they are taking to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping and added these efforts are indeed impressive. The International Olympic Committee President added it was great to see all the stakeholders equally committed to the fight for clean athletes and remarked we also discussed the UCI’s contributions to Olympic Agenda 2020, which will be looked at in even greater detail by Working Groups, and we are thankful for their input.

Cookson thanked Bach for a positive discussion covering a range of issues and said it was very useful to talk with him on the Olympic Agenda 2020 review and, in particular, discuss how cycling can play its role in those plans. Cookson also said among other things we believe cycling can be a big part of the IOC’s sustainability and legacy work by helping bid cities transform themselves into places where cycling is a preferred way of getting around, making those cities better places to exercise, live and work.

The election manifesto of Cookson comprised primarily of adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to doping in cycling to combat problems in the sport. After defeating Pat McQuaid to become the UCI President last September, Brian Cookson decided to establish an independent audit for looking into the approach of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The audit recommended “urgent” improvements to the anti-doping practices of the world governing body of cycling. It recommended that the possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated and a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established.

The audit team added that risk assessment should be regularized and documented as per the International Standard for Testing and communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalized. It also remarked that UCI and Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code. CADF looks after anti-doping for the UCI.

The audit team included Anne Cappelen, director of systems and results management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency. After this audit, Cookson remarked he was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport program is outstanding and that results management is excellent and had remarked that the UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures, and procedures in order to further improve the program and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code.

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Saturday 28, Dec 2013

  Michael Rogers Suspended For Doping

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Cycling veteran Michael Rogers of Australia has been provisionally suspended by the world’s governing body of cycling. The three-time world time trial champion and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist tested positive for Clenbuterol, a drug used to treat asthma and used by athletes to cut body fat.

The 33-year-old has however claimed that the positive urine sample during his victory at the Japan Cup Road Race on October 20 may have been caused by contaminated food. The Saxo-Tinkoff rider denies deliberate doping but the UCI said the provisional suspension of Rogers would remain in force until a hearing convened by Cycling Australia identifies whether or not Rogers has committed an anti-doping rule violation. The cyclist competed in China a week before his positive drugs test. This was despite the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency issuing a warning in the past to exercise a high sense of care and caution in China because of the use of illicit use of the growth promoter in livestock there.

In a statement, Saxo-Tinkoff said Michael Rogers immediately informed the team management about the notification from the UCI and the Australian explained to the team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding origins (came) from a contaminated food source. It added that Rogers participated in the Tour of Beijing the week before the Japan Cup and traveled directly from China to Japan.

Rogers won three consecutive World Time Trial Championships between 2003 and 2005 and was upgraded to bronze in the time trial at the 2004 Atlanta Olympics after Tyler Hamilton was disqualified. The cyclist has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample. A veteran of nine Tour de France campaigns, Rogers left Team Sky where he rode in support of 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins. He left Team Sky after he was named in evidence in the Lance Armstrong case as working with Michele Ferrari, the favored doctor of Armstrong.

Meanwhile, Interim Cycling Australia chief executive Adrian Anderson has remarked Rogers should face maximum ban if found guilty. He remarked Cycling Australia would support the maximum sanctions under the World Anti-Doping Agency code if the veteran cyclist is found guilty of doping and added that 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. In a statement, Cycling Australia said Michael Rogers does not hold an Australian racing licence and sanctions against him would not be determined by Cycling Australia if charges against Rogers are proven right. Anderson added that Cycling Australia would support the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, and the applicable national federation in whatever action they deem appropriate.

The world’s governing body of cycling also announced that Belgian rider Jonathan Breyne has also been suspended for a positive test for Clenbuterol at the Tour of Taihu Lake in China on November 5.

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