Three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) has expressed his relief and gratitude after the UCI confirmed he would face no further sanctions after his positive drugs test for clenbuterol.
Former Team Sky man Rogers tested positive for the banned substance after winning the Japan Cup in October, but insisted it must have been as a result of eating contaminated meat while visiting China for the Tour of Beijing.
And although the UCI is bound by its own regulations to disqualify Rogers’ result in Japan, they have lifted his provisional suspension after accepting there was a ‘significant possibility’ the presence of clenbuterol may have come from contaminated meat.
Rogers said in a statement: “Today, I received the extremely pleasing news that the UCI has decided that no period of ineligibility is to be imposed against me following my inadvertent adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol in October 2013.
“Over the past four months, my family and I have endured a very difficult time. The UCI’s decision means I can return to racing immediately, and I am looking forward to getting back to work, competing in the sport I love.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, teammates, colleagues, medical experts and fans who have showed continued support and understanding.
“Further, I wish to show my gratitude to the board of Tinkoff-Saxo for the professional manner with which this ambiguous ordeal has been handled. Thank you for having the perception of what is right, rather than following the path of least resistance.”
A statement issued by the UCI claims cycling’s governing body are continuing to monitor development concerning clenbuterol, with WADA having issued specific warnings about contaminated meat in China and Mexico.
The statement read: “The UCI reiterates that the presence of clenbuterol in a urine sample constitutes an anti-doping rule violation under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
“Consequently, the UCI reiterates its recommendations to the athletes and teams concerned to avoid eating meat in these countries.
“In line with WADA recommendations, the UCI will continue to assess the presence of clenbuterol on a case by case basis taking into account the country in which contamination may have taken place, as well as any scientific evidence supporting the likelihood of such contamination.”
Rogers, who was a key part of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France winning team before joining his current team last season, is now free to return to racing with immediate effect.