Australian bicyclist Michael Rogers said that the consumption of contaminated Chinese food is the reason he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, a sympathomimetic drug that athletes use to drop body fat quickly.
“I would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible that I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol,” the rider said in a statement on Friday. Rogers, a three-time World Time-Trial Champion and rider for Team Saxo-Tinkoff, failed the test at the Japan Cup in October.
“I can advise that during the period 8th-17th of October, before arriving in Japan, I was present in China for the World Tour race, Tour of Beijing,” he said.
“I understand 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.”
Certainly enough, China was hit with a huge food scandal in 2011 when Clenbuterol-tainted pork began circulating in markets. The illegal additive was found in products distributed by the country’s largest meat processors, according to authority reports.
Products marketed under Shuanghui Group’s Shineway brand were produced from pigs that were fed clenbuterol, an additive that can speed up muscle building and fat burning to produce leaner pork, the reports said.
The additive, known among farmers as “lean meat powder,” is banned in China because if eaten by humans it can lead to dizziness, heart palpitations and profuse sweating…
The industry association’s spokesman told the Global Times in 2011 that the tainted pork was an isolated case only found in one Shuanghui company.
Still, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has told athletes to “exercise extreme caution with regards to eating meat when travelling to competitions in China and Mexico.”
‘It’s hard to believe that high performance athletes in Australia, in any sport, could travel to China and Mexico and be unaware of the risk involved in eating meat in those countries and the strategies they need to take on board to eliminate that risk,” Australian Institute of Sport head of medicine Dr. David Hughes said in a Canberra Times report.