Cycling Australia (CA) CEO Adrian Anderson has responded to the provisional suspension of Michael Rogers for a positive clenbuterol test from the Japan Cup, stating the national federation would support a maximum suspension.
"CA were alerted of the positive test via the UCI media release this morning," said Anderson. "Whilst we respect Michael Rogers' right to defend himself, we will support the maximum sanctions under the WADA code if he is found guilty of doping."
Rogers can request for his B-sample to be tested but as Rogers does not hold an Australian racing licence, if he is found guilty the sanctions will not be determined by CA. In light of this Anderson added, "CA will support WADA, ASADA and the applicable National Federation in whatever action they deem appropriate."
While Rogers would escape punishment from CA, Anderson stated that the national body fully supported international efforts to prosecute riders who violate anti-doping rules. "The fact that the drug testing process continues to uncover positive tests should be a lesson to all cyclists that if they choose to dope they can expect to be caught," Anderson said.
"For too long the sport of cycling has been let down at the international level by drug cheats and CA supports every measure to detect and prosecute doping offenders."
While CA has become fully committed to clean cycling, evident in its commitment to introduce a strict no needles policy in 2004, Rogers is the second high profile Australian to be caught up in a doping scandal following the admission by Stuart O'Grady in July that he used EPO prior to the 1998 Tour de France.
In accordance with CA Policy - every staff member, coach and rider who represented Australia in international competition from 2013 onwards - is required to sign a no-doping statutory declaration stating that they have never participated in any illegal doping practices.
Over the past 12 months CA has progressively implemented procedures as recommended by the Wood Review, which includes enforcing ASADA's online anti-doping education as criteria for national team selection.
The federation has also reviewed its supplements policy, introduced a European based athlete mentor program to monitor the welfare of young Australian riders entering the professional peloton.
It has also established an Ethics & Integrity Panel to provide independent advice and assistance to the Board in relation to doping and other matters.