The UCI announced on Wednesday that Rogers had returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol following his victory at the Japan Cup on October 20. The Saxo-Tinkoff rider had raced at the Tour of Beijing before travelling to Japan.
“I would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible that I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested Clenbuterol,” Rogers said in a statement released on Friday morning.
“I can advise that during the period 8th-17th October, before arriving in Japan, I was present in China for the WorldTour race, Tour of Beijing. 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.”
The Australian’s case was one of two Clenbuterol positives announced by the UCI on Wednesday. Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) returned an adverse analytical finding for the substance during another Chinese race, the Tour of Taihu Lake, on November 5.
In late November 2011 WADA issued a warning about concerns of contaminated meat and "re-emphasized the need for athletes to exercise extreme caution with regards to eating meat when traveling to competitions in China and Mexico."
Rogers’ Saxo-Tinkoff team leader Alberto Contador proposed contaminated meat as a defence for his positive test for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, but the claim was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February 2011, who enforced the principle of strict liability in the case. Contador was stripped of his title and handed a retroactive two-year ban.
Rogers has been provisionally suspended pending analysis of the B-sample. The 34-year-old faces a ban of two years under article 21 of the UCI’s anti-doping regulations if found guilty of a doping offence.
“In the following weeks, I will have the opportunity to explain this unfortunate situation to the UCI, in which I will give my full attention and cooperation to resolve this issue in the quickest time frame possible,” Rogers said.