Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) will receive no further sanction after testing positive for clenbuterol, the UCI have announced.
“Upon careful analysis of Mr Rogers’ explanations and the accompanying technical reports the UCI found that that there was a significant probability that the presence of clenbuterol may have resulted from the consumption of contaminated meat from China – where he had taken part in a race before travelling to Japan,” said a statement issued by the UCI on Wednesday.
“As a result, the UCI has proceeded with the automatic disqualification of Mr Rogers’ results at the 2013 Japan Cup Cycle Road Race (the competition during which the positive sample was taken) but, after consulting WADA, decided that he should not be sanctioned any further.”
The UCI went on to recommend that all athletes avoid eating meat while in both China and Mexico.
Rogers took to twitter soon after the UCI's announcement to release his own statement. "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."
Rogers has been out of action since it was announced that he tested positive after taking victory at the Japan Cup on October 20 of last year. The Australian issued his own press release after the finding was made public, claiming that the clenbuterol had entered his system while he was racing at the Tour of Beijing a week earlier, a race organised by the UCI's sports promotion branch, Global Cycling Productions.
Jonathan Breyne of Crelan-Euphony also returned a positive test for the drug after he raced at the Tour of Taihu Lake in China last year. He was suspended by his team and later tried to commit suicide. According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Breyne will also be given the all clear to race again. He is currently with the Continental Josan-To Win team.
Clenbuterol is banned for use in animals in many countries, but is often used in farming in China and WADA have a long established warning regarding the eating of meat products while in the country. Many teams will bring their own food to races but it can prove to be a logistical challenge.
Tinkoff-Saxo currently have 28 riders on their roster, meaning that there is still space for Rogers to race. The team are yet to make an announcement about his return.