DRUG PROBE: Australian cyclist Michael Rogers has blamed contaminated food for a positive drugs test.
DRUG PROBE: Australian cyclist Michael Rogers has blamed contaminated food for a positive drugs test. YOSHIKAZU TSUNOAAP

Rogers blames dodgy food for drugs ban

AUSTRALIA'S three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers has blamed contaminated food for a failed drugs test.

The 33-year-old, a rider for the Danish Saxo-Tinkoff team, tested positive for clenbuterol after his victory in the road race at the Japan Cup in October.

He has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union while Cycling Australia investigates the case.

Clenbuterol, which helps build muscle and burn fat, is the substance Rogers' teammate, Alberto Contador, tested positive to during the 2010 Tour de France which he won.

The Spaniard was later stripped of the title and banned for two years. Contador blamed contaminated meat for the positive test, but the World Anti-Doping Agency rejected his claim.

Rogers rode in China a week before his failed test and the UCI and WADA have previously warned athletes to exercise caution in that country due to the illicit use of the growth promoter in livestock there.

"Michael Rogers immediately informed Saxo-Tinkoff's management about the notification from the UCI," his team said in a statement. "The Australian explained to team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding originated from a contaminated food source."

Rogers won bronze in the time trial at the 2004 Olympics after American Tyler Hamilton was disqualified for failing a drugs test.


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