Australian cyclist Michael Rogers blames tainted food for positive drug test
Michael Rogers, of Australia, is shown at the front of the pack during the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race on July 19 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Published Friday, December 20, 2013 7:49AM EST
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian cyclist Michael Rogers says he never knowingly took the banned substance clenbuterol and his positive doping test may have resulted from eating contaminated food in China.
Rogers, a three-time world time trial champion and 2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist , tested positive after winning the Japan Cup on Oct. 20.
He said in a statement on Friday that his positive test came just days after competing in the Tour of Beijing.
"I understand that it has been acknowledged by the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as other anti-doping bodies, that food contaminated with clenbuterol is a serious problem in China," Rogers said in the statement.
Alberto Contador, Rogers' teammate at Saxo-Tinkoff, tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France and was stripped of the title and banned for two years.
Contador also claimed he ate contaminated meat, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected that and ruled a contaminated supplement was likely to blame.
"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," Rogers said. "I would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible, that I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol."
Cycling Australia said on Thursday it would seek a maximum two-year ban for Rogers, who has been suspended pending his requested analysis of a B sample.