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Thursday 04, May 2017

  Doping Cases Threaten International Cricket

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Richard Ings, the former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, has slammed the “inconsistent” testing procedures of cricket in an interview with the New York Times.

The anti-doping expert lifted the lid on the growing problem faced by international cricket in the recent past in the game’s shortest format.

The sport has received a huge shot in the arm with the evolution of T20 cricket. However, some experts are of the view that the pressure of faster-paced game play could soon bring a drug issue of gigantic proportions into the game.

Recently, West Indian T20 specialist and Big Bash star Andre Russell was given a ban for a breach in the rules. Russell was banned from playing professional cricket both internationally and domestically until late January 2018. In 2015, the 28-year-old all-rounder failed to file his whereabouts on three separate occasions, an offence equal to failing a drug test under Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. However, the West Indian T20 specialist played on for 11 months, a period in which he helped the West Indies win the World Twenty20 tournament, before he was finally suspended.

In the past, Shane Warne was caught in one of cricket’s most publicized drug offences in 2003 after he was caught with Moduretic, a prescription drug banned by the International Cricket Council as it can mask the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids. The bowler tearfully admitted to using the diuretic and was banned for a year. Warne went on to make a return to international cricket in early 2004 to complete one of the greatest careers under the baggy green.

Afghanistan T20 powerhouse Mohammad Shahzad tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, before being suspended. The wicketkeeper-batsman from Afghanistan is yet to receive the full outcome of his disciplinary hearing.

Ings remarked cricket is a high-risk sport for the use of performance enhancing drugs. The e former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority also commented that he would rate the risk of doping in cricket as high and the quality of the sport’s coordinated global anti-doping efforts as poor. Ings also said that risk is a function of motive and opportunity and added motive in cricket exists because selections are highly competitive, contracts involve massive sums of money and injuries are common.

Presently, it seems that the ICC just could not monitor anti-doping efforts in cricket with the number of domestic T20 leagues growing. The Council conducts out-of-competition testing on cricketers who have played international matches in the previous two years but players who have not played international cricket in this period, or have retired from the international game, are not subject to testing by the world governing body of cricket. Drug testing depends on national governing bodies and anti-doping authorities for these cricketers. There are inconsistent standards of testing across the different leagues among all 10 full-member countries.

In England, only 193 drug tests were conducted on professional male or female cricketers in the 12-month period that ended in March.

Paul Dimeo, an expert on doping in sport from the University of Stirling, said it seems a low number and not much of deterrence. Dimeo also said it also makes it too hard to ascertain if there is a risk of doping behaviors occurring.

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Tuesday 18, Apr 2017

  Afghanistan Cricketer Faces Doping Ban

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The International Cricket Council has announced Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad faces a provisional ban under its anti-doping rules.

Shahzad will be suspended as of April 26th unless he decides to challenge the decision before that date. It was revealed by the ICC that a sample provided by the 29-year-old was found to contain the prohibited substance Clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test in January.

A statement from the world governing body of cricket reads the International Cricket Council today announced that Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been charged with an anti-doping rule violation under the ICC anti-doping code. The ICC statement further reads that the sample Shahzad provided in an out-of-competition test, which was conducted on 17 January 2017 at the ICC Academy in Dubai and analyzed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, was found to contain the presence of Clenbuterol, a prohibited substance which appears in Section 1.2 of the WADA prohibited list (in the category of other anabolic agents).

The statement also reads that Shahzad, in accordance with the ICC anti-doping code, pending the outcome of the disciplinary process, will be provisionally suspended, with such suspension coming into effect on 26 April 2017, unless he exercises his right to challenge the imposition of the provisional suspension before such date.

Shahzad has the right to request that his B sample be tested within five days from the notice, and to challenge the suspension within 12 days. A hearing will take place if he challenges the suspension and the suspension will not be imposed till the outcome of the hearing is known. The big-hitting Shahzad, who has played 58 ODIs and 58 T20Is, also has to respond to the charge within 14 days. It will be considered to be an admission of guilt if he does not respond.

Shahzad was last seen in action during the series of Afghanistan against Ireland in India. In December 2016, the Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman was named the Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year by the ICC, for the period running September 2015 to 2016.

A key player in the team’s charge towards potential Test match status, Shahzad has scored 1,901 runs in one-dayers with a best score of 131 not out while smashing 1,779 runs in T20 with a high of an undefeated 118. The Afghanistan batsman is the fourth highest run-maker in T20 internationals, and even surpassed Indian superstar and Captain Virat Kohli in the rankings when Afghanistan whitewashed Ireland 3-0 earlier this year.

A rare prospect reprieving from the politically hit country of Afghanistan, Shahzad was recently included in the IPL auction pool by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The list of others included batsman Asghar Stanikzhai, pacer Dawlat Zadran, all-rounder Mohammed Nabi and bowler Rashid Khan Arman and the India-born Chirag Suri of United Arab Emirates.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was part of the Afghanistan side that was taking part in the Desert T20 challenge in Dubai in January. The Afghanistan side twice beat Ireland, including in the final when Shahzad made an unbeaten 52 in a 10-wicket win.

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Thursday 31, Mar 2016

  Chinese Swimmers ‘Warned’ For Clenbuterol Use

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A “warning penalty” will be issued to swimmers Wang Lizhuo and An Jiabao after both tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, according to an announcement by the Chinese Swimming Association.

Clenbuterol is a performance enhancing drug, which is usually used by athletes and non-athletes during cutting cycles, and the substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list.

The CSA, in a terse statement posted online, said it would also issue warning and finding An’s Tianjin club and Wang’s Chinese Navy team besides issuing fines on their coaches. The CSA said the coaches will each face fines equivalent to the cost of five stimulant detection tests, amounting to 5,000 Yuan ($767.94).  The Chinese Swimming Association also said the unit overseeing athletes for the Tianjin Swimming Association and the Navy’s Swimming and Diving team will each get a warning and a penalty equivalent to the cost of 10 doping tests. Decision of the CSA was in accordance with the anti-doping rules of FINA, the world governing body of swimming, and doping management regulations.

In a statement, FINA said it was bound to confidentiality by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code but added it would establish whether any allegations require further investigation. A statement by FINA reads there are a small number of cases of failed doping controls by Chinese swimmers currently being investigated under the jurisdiction of CHINADA, the WADA-recognized Chinese Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further reads FINA and WADA are both fully aware of these cases, but we are bound by confidentiality until the moment an athlete is actually banned.

Reacting to the allegations, WADA Spokesman Ben Nichols said these are very serious allegations concerning Chinese swimming that warrant further examination. Nichols added WADA is now fully scrutinizing the information that The Times newspaper has passed on to us so that we can determine exactly what the appropriate steps are and so that we can address this matter head on.

The identities of An and Wang were revealed after the Chinese Swimming Association last week announced that six swimmers had failed doping tests during the 2015-16 season. The CSA identified the third swimmer as Chinese Navy’s Zhao Ying. The swimmer also tested positive for Clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test but has not yet been punished.

A few days back, the use of doping stimulants in Chinese swimming caught worldwide attention after it was announced by the World Anti-Doping Agency that it was presently investigating claims that Chinese sports authorities were suppressing five positive tests for “avoiding a storm”.

The Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA) denied claims published by The Times newspaper that it was “covering up” the tests. CHINADA argued that it was following the protocols by protecting the identities of the swimmers while test procedures and hearings were still underway.

The Chinese Swimming Association also announced that three other unnamed Chinese swimmers tested positive for the prohibited diuretic hydrochlorothiazide in out-of-competition tests in January. Zhao Jian, the deputy director of the Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA), remarked last week that CHINDA would soon release results and punishments within 20 days after the relevant association makes its respective punishments.

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Wednesday 29, Jul 2015

  Collingwood Pair Handed AFL Infraction Notices

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Infraction notices have been issued to Collingwood players Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas by AFL general Counsel Andrew Dillon after the Australian Football League was notified by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority that Keeffe and Thomas had potentially breached the league’s anti-doping code.

Keeffe and Thomas tested positive to Clenbuterol in February. Clenbuterol is not a specified substance on the AFL’s prohibited list but is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Collingwood players have been provisionally suspended since March and are likely to face bans of two years, according to Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert. It was remarked by Pert that they are still young guys and their careers are not over as they are in a process where it appears a likely outcome is a two-year suspension, from everything that we are hearing. The Collingwood chief executive also remarked it is for both players to decide whether they’re going to contest – whether they want to say they accept the ruling or not, or the severity of the penalty, and added they will advise ASADA once they have made that decision. Pert remarked if the players decide to contest it, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority would advise the Australian Football League that will then organize a tribunal hearing.

The 25-year-old Keeffe is a key-position player and has played 40 matches for the Magpies, including 18 in 2014. On the other hand, the 23-year-old Thomas has played 32 games for Collingwood after debuting in 2013.

In another development, Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley returned to Dockers’ training for the first time since serving his backdated suspension of one year after he tested positive to a banned painkiller. The 31-year-old opens the possibility of him returning to the Fremantle lineup for the last two weeks of the finals series if the Dockers are able to make it that far. The return of Crowley was made possible after it was found by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal that he did not intentionally breach the anti-doping code. In a statement, ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt said we note the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal found Crowley did not intend to violate the World Anti-Doping Code and remarked this case illustrates the dangers of inadvertent doping. McDevitt also commented athletes need to be careful about what they take, even if they don’t intend to cheat. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority decided not to appeal against the length of Crowley’s ban.

Ryan Crowley remarked at the time of provisional suspension that he deeply regretted his actions and he genuinely never intentionally meant to do the wrong thing. Crowley has played 188 games for the club since he was drafted in 2002. The 31-year-old won the club’s best and fairest in 2012 and had become one of the premier taggers in the competition under Coach Ross Lyon. Pending the finding by the AFL anti-doping tribunal, Crowley was provisionally banned for the first 10 weeks of the 2015 season. However, the three-person tribunal, comprising of chairman David Jones, former judge John Nixon and Dr Susan White, decided not to impose heavy sanction against Crowley.

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Sunday 10, May 2015

  Giro d’Italia May Seek Damages From UCI Over Astana Doping Affair

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Giro d’Italia May Seek Damages From UCI Over Astana Doping Affair

RCS Sport, organizer of the Giro d’Italia, has said it is ready to ask the world governing body of cycling for damages if the ongoing Astana WorldTour License case has an adverse effect on its 2015 race.

Race Director Mauro Vegni wants to avoid a repeat of Giro d’Italia of 2011 when Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador won the overall title and was stripped of the title because of an ongoing doping case stemming from the Tour de France event in 2010. The case of Contador where he defended himself against using Clenbuterol took 18 months to resolve. Vegni said he is ready to ask the UCI for damages if we should have a repeat of the 2011 case with Contador and remarked that it still bothers him to think of that Giro title they stripped. In 2011 Giro d’Italia, Italian Michele Scarponi who was placed second received the title after the case of Contador closed.

Vegni also remarked he hopes this is a Giro without controversy and a little sun, but he is worried with the Astana case still in the hands of the UCI’s license commission. The Race Director added he told Brian Cookson, the UCI President, that he does not want a team that is under investigation in the Giro d’Italia.

Vegni’s concerns may now have been answered with the UCI License Commission granting the WorldTour license to Team Astana.

This May, Team Astana’s rider Fabio Aru is one of the favorites to win the Giro along with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Team Sky’s Richie Porte, and Rigoberto Urán (Etixx-Quick Step). Fabio Aru finished third last year behind Colombian winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

In another development, Team Astana has revealed training methods for Grand Tour team leaders Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru who are preparing for the Ardennes Classics, the Giro del Trentino, the Tour de France, and Giro d’Italia. Nibali and Aru have been training at altitude at Teide on the Spanish island of Tenerife under the eye of Astana team coach Paolo Slongo and his assistant Maurizio Mazzoleni. Astana team coach explained that Tour de France 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali required the long training camp for clearing his mind of the responsibility and pressure of being the current winner of the Tour de France. Nibali is targeting the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege while Aru is all set to rider in Giro del Trentino before taking on Contador and Porte at the Giro d’Italia.

Slongo remarked a lot has changed for Vincenzo after winning the Tour de France. The Astana team coach said Nibali arrived at Teide a bit overloaded with all the extra things he’d been doing and let us say he was more stressed out than usual. He added the camp was useful in helping clear Nibali’s head and rediscover himself. Slongo also remarked that we worked with him a lot, on what he was missing in the first part of the season such as the changes of rhythm and above threshold efforts. He also commented that the Amstel Gold Race and Fleche-Wallonne will polish his form, while Vincenzo has something to prove at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

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Sunday 14, Sep 2014

  Astana Fires Valentin Iglinsky Over Positive Test

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Astana Fires Valentin Iglinsky Over Positive Test

Valentin Iglinsky, a Kazakh road racing cyclist who rides for UCI ProTour team Astana, has been fired with immediate effect from the team. Iglinsky has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair in accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules and the cyclist has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.

This was after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, announced that it has notified Kazakh rider Valentin Iglinsky for an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a sample collected in the scope of the 2014 Eneco Tour on 11 August 2014. In a statement released shortly afterwards, the Astana team said Iglinsky has confessed to doping and has been sacked with immediate effect. The statement on Team Astana read management at Astana Pro Team have taken direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract following the announcement by the Union Cycliste Internationale of a positive anti-doping test result for Valentin Iglinsky during the recent Eneco Tour.

It was added by Astana statement that Valentin has admitted to using prohibited substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff. The statement also added Astana Pro Team in its wish for full transparency has refused to defend a rider who failed to respect the rules and ethics as stipulated in his contract and who has failed to behave in a manner consistent with other riders in his team and within professional cycling.

The 30-year-old Kazakh rider finished the Eneco Tour in 96th place. He returned a positive sample on the opening stage of the race and raced twice more before his positive sample came to light. Valentin finished 106th at the Vattenfall Cyclassics and 49th at the Brussels Cycling Classic. Valentin took the overall classification in the Tour of Hainan in both 2010 and 2011 and is a part winner of stages in races like the Tour of Qinghai Lake, the Tour of Bulgaria, the Presidential Tour of Turkey, and the Tour du Loir et Cher. Valentin Iglinsky, a professional since 2009, is the younger brother of Astana’s Maxim Iglinsky, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2012.

Team Astana is a member of the Movement For Credible Cycling, formed in July 2007.

The history of Team Astana has been marked by a series of doping cases. Current general manager Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping as a rider on the squad at the 2007 Tour de France. Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title following a positive test for Clenbuterol.

In another development, Vuelta a Espana leader Alberto Contador has remarked the World Championships course in Ponferrada does not suit him. The Spaniard of team Tinkoff-Saxo said there are other riders who he thinks can help the Spanish team more and should go and he will rather give his place to them. Many in the cycling world believe this year’s 254-kilometre race (14 laps of 18.2km) will suit riders like Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano).

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Monday 28, Jul 2014

  Nibali Wins 2014 Tour De France, Praises Doping Controls

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Nibali Wins 2014 Tour De France, Praises Doping Controls

Vincenzo Nibali emerged on Sunday as the first Italian winner of the Tour de France in 16 years on Sunday. The Italian rider praised the efforts of cycling’s anti-doping agencies before he won the coveted trophy.

The 29-year-old said he would not be here if there had not been all these controls, targeted controls, and the biological passport. In 2008, Nibali finished 19th in the Tour that was the same year in which the biological passport was implemented by the International Cycling Union (UCI). The Astana rider remarked a lot of progress has been made and we can see the results now. Nibali also added he is ready to accept the idea that his samples would be stored for future testing.

After his Tour win, Nibali said the Vuelta for him was the most important because it showed him that he could aim to win big tours like the Giro and the Tour in the following years. The Italian professional road bicycle racer, considered one of the strongest stage race riders in the world, added it is obvious that for him (as Italian) the Giro is very important but it is also special for the Italian fans and added but what makes the Tour so much bigger is the international attention it demands.

Vincenzo Nibali added he has taken his place in the history of the Tour and that is very important, but those others also made their names in other great races, such as the classics. Nibali added he never thought about making history, and said he just concentrated on trying to win the Tour, like he won the Giro and the Vuelta, because he is a stage racer. The cyclist went on to add that of course there are other races that he want to win, like the Tour of Lombardy in which he had come close many times but not had the luck or the World Championships, which he tried to win last year, or Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Astana rider added he had always liked these races and he did like to try to win them, even though he is more suited to stage races.

Nibali joins Italian Felice Gimondi, Belgian Eddy Merckx, Spaniard Alberto Contador, and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil as the only men to have won all three Grand Tours. He also joined five other cyclists, including Eddy Merckx, who have won all three of cycling’s grand tours — the Tour, the Vuelta a España, and the Giro d’Italia.

His previous best finish in the Tour de France was third place, behind Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in 2012.

Nibali’s Tour win was benefited from the misfortunes of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Froome quit early after three crashes and Contador (who was stripped of his Tour de France 2010 win for using Clenbuterol, a banned substance) hit a hole in the pavement and broke his leg. Nibali won decisive four stages of the Tour, including the Vosges, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. The rider also wore the yellow jersey as the race leader for 19 of the 21 stages.

On Saturday evening, Nibali had remarked the Tour de France this year was a great race, very different than the Tours we’ve had in the past. He added it was just about made to measure for him and it was very difficult from the beginning.

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Monday 24, Feb 2014

  UCI Instructs WCC Athletes Not To Consume Meat Due To Clenbuterol Risk

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Uci instructs wcc athletes not to consume meat due to clenbuterol risk

UCI president Brian Cookson has issued a warning about the risks of accidental positives in China and Mexico to all the national federations. Cookson issued this warning in wake of the positive tests for Clenbuterol, a drug for treating asthma that is used by athletes to lose body fat, concerning Tinkoff Saxo rider Michael Rogers and Crelan-Euphony rider Jonathan Breyne.

In a letter, Cookson referred to the status of the drug as an anabolic agent on the WADA’s banned list that incurs a provisional suspension if a positive A test happens. Cookson however accepted that there is the possibility of accidental positives in China and Mexico. Cookson wrote that it is widely acknowledged that there is a risk of meat contaminated with Clenbuterol leading to a positive sample in an athlete and the World Anti-Doping Agency has specifically drawn attention to this problem in China and Mexico.

Cookson also remarked that athletes who are under our care at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland, as a consequence, have been told that they should not eat meat in these countries.

Crelan-Euphony rider Jonathan Breyne was competing in the Tour of Taihu when he tested positive for Clenbuterol, while the positive test of Tinkoff Saxo rider Michael Rogers occurred at the Japan Cup, days after he finished the Tour of Beijing. Rogers has insisted that he never knowingly consumed the drug and Breyne said the same. Breyne tried to attempt suicide in December after being immensely pressurized by the positive test for Clenbuterol but has recovered now. After Rogers’ positive test, Australian cycling legend Robbie McEwen remarked that the UCI has to take up some responsibility for any positive tests to Clenbuterol in China.

UCI spokesman Louis Chenaille, when asked if Cookson’s statement could have an impact on the disciplinary hearings by the national federations of Breyne and Rogers, said that the governing body of cycling would not be the one making the decisions in the cases. Chenaille remarked this is not a matter of us and it is for the national federations and the anti doping bodies and added we want to be professional in that we wish to alert the national federations about the risks in some countries.

The UCI spokesman added that the cycling’s governing body had information discussions with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the authorities in China in order to make sure that everyone was on the same level as regards the issue. Chenaille also remarked that the Tour of Beijing organizers, the UCI, the local authorities and the teams have been discussing the issue of food safety since the first edition of the race in 2011. He also said that measures put in place as a result of these discussions include the employment by the organizers of a dedicated cook to supervise food in all the hotels which house the riders during the race and the UCI will be discussing this issue with all parties concerned, particularly with WADA, to see if there are improvements which can be made to the current regulatory structure and the arrangements in place at the race.

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Monday 30, Dec 2013

  Rogers Reiterates Claims Of Ingesting Clenbuterol From Chinese Food

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Rogers Reiterates Claims Of Ingesting Clenbuterol From Chinese Food

Three-time World Time-Trial Champion @Michael Rogers has reiterated his claims of innocence in regard to his provisional suspension after testing positive to Clenbuterol.

The Australian professional road bicycle racer who was previously with Team Sky and presently rides for Team Saxo-Tinkoff was provisionally suspended by the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, after returning an A Sample from his successful Japan Cup campaign that revealed traces of the banned substance. In a statement, Rogers said he was the victim of a mix-up with contaminated food in China. The statement said Rogers would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible that he had never knowingly or deliberately ingested Clenbuterol.

The cyclist added that he can advise that during the period 8th-17th of October, before arriving in Japan, he was present in China for the World Tour race, Tour of Beijing and said he understands 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. Michael Rogers went on to add that he in the following weeks will have the opportunity to explain this unfortunate situation to the UCI, in which he will give his full attention and cooperation to resolve this issue in the quickest time frame possible and added that he would like to thank those around the world, who have shown compassion and understanding of this situation that he has been placed in. Michael Rogers, who was instrumental in the Tour de France win of Bradley Wiggins, will be prevented from competing again until it is proven whether or not he has doped.

Meanwhile, Australia’s champion cyclist Anna Meares has remarked she is disappointed about Michael Rogers’ positive test to Clenbuterol. Meares added that she is sick of the controversial men’s peloton tarring the entire community of cycling with the same brush. The five-time Olympic medalist was left surprised by the claim of Rogers of ingesting Clenbuterol by way of contaminated food and said the cycling team had been repeatedly warned by national team managers at the world cup in Mexico earlier this year about eating pork, beef, and lamb. Meares added we as professional athletes need to take responsibility for what we’re putting in our mouths and into our body on a food basis, on a supplements basis and on a medical basis.

Cycling Australia will seek a maximum two-year ban for the cyclist, if he is found guilty of doping. Meanwhile, Michael Rogers has been suspended pending his requested analysis of a B sample.

At the 2010 Tour de France, Alberto Contador, Rogers’ team-mate at Saxo-Tinkoff, tested positive for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France and was banned for two years and stripped of the title.

In another development, British professional road racing cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke who rides for UCI ProTeam Team Sky will face disciplinary proceedings over anti-doping rule violation. The 2012 Tour of Britain winner’s biological passport showed anti-doping rule violation.

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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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