The move comes after two cyclists, Australian Michael Rogers and Belgian Jonathan Breyne, last week were provisionally suspended after returning an “adverse analytical finding” of clenbuterol in a urine sample taken either while, or immediately after, they raced in China.
But any changes to testing, regulations or race operations could be too late for Rogers, who faces a maximum two-year ban if he cannot prove the clenbuterol finding from the Japan Cup on October 20 was due to food contamination.
Rogers rode the WorldTour-ranked Tour of Beijing in China – where WADA and the UCI acknowledge poses a risk of food contamination to riders – the week before he raced in Japan where he was tested.
The triple time trial world champion insists he did not knowingly or deliberately ingest clenbuterol and will plead his case to the UCI.
But while the UCI plans to meet with WADA and all parties involved in the Tour of Beijing, it will not intervene if Rogers is charged with a doping violation and forced to front his national federation, believed to be Switzerland, which could potentially end his career.
It was not known on Friday whether Rogers had requested his “B sample” from the Japan Cup be tested.
“The Tour of Beijing organisers, 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,” a UCI spokesperson said in a statement.
“Measures put in place as a result of these discussions include the employment by the organisers of a dedicated cook to supervise food in all the hotels which house the riders during the race.
“The UCI and WADA are clearly aware that there is a risk of food contamination in certain regions/countries such as China and Mexico that can cause adverse analytical findings for clenbuterol.
“Currently, the presence of clenbuterol is considered as an anti-doping rule violation which is investigated on a case-by-case basis.
“The UCI will be discussing this issue with all parties concerned, particularly WADA, to see if there are improvements which can be made to the current regulatory structure and the arrangements in place at the race.”
Rogers, who rides for Saxo-Tinkoff, was scheduled to ride the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide from January 19-26 before last week’s UCI announcement.
- Rogers blames food for positive clenbuterol test (sykose.com)
- Rogers categorically denies ever knowingly taking Clenbuterol, is blaming Chinese food for positive (velonation.com)
- Australian Cyclist Blames Food for Positive Clenbuterol Test (nytimes.com)