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No changes for clenbuterol in 2012 WADA prohibited list

Alberto Contador visited the Vuelta at Ponferrada.

Alberto Contador visited the Vuelta at Ponferrada. (Image credit: Sirotti)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published today its 2012 Prohibited List, a summary of all methods and substances banned in Olympic sports.

While there had been speculation that the still-unresolved case of 2010 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador might cause WADA to impose a threshold limit for clenbuterol, the agency did not make any changes to the rules for this substance.

"Clenbuterol is a prohibited substance and there is no threshold under which this substance is not prohibited," the agency stated on its website.

"At present, and based on expert opinions, there is no plan to introduce a threshold level for clenbuterol."

Contador tested positive for the drug during the 2010 Tour de France, but blamed the result on contaminated beef. The Spanish federation refused to impose a sporting ban on Contador, but the UCI and WADA lodged separate appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), to be heard in November.

In its statement, WADA aknowledged that it is possible for food contamination to cause a positive doping control for a low level of clenbuterol, such as was the case for Contador, but said "each case is different and all elements need to be taken into account, along with the context of the case.

"Under the World Anti-Doping Code, result management of cases foresees the opportunity for an athlete to explain how a prohibited substance entered his/her body."

It added that the agency is working with federations and event organisers to "minimize the risk of contamination through the monitoring of meat to official hotels and restaurants".

Nicotine use being monitored, Formoterol gets an exception

Other notable changes to the 2012 list are the removal of the beta-2 agonist Formoterol from the prohibited list, meaning the asthma drug is now allowed to be inhaled at therapeutic doses.

"The List prohibits the administration of all beta-2 agonists except salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours), salmeterol when taken by inhalation, and now formoterol (maximum 36 micrograms taken over 24 hours)," WADA announced.

The agency also placed nicotine on a monitoring program along with hydrocone, tramadol and out-of-competition glucocorticosteroid use.

"It is NOT [emphasis by WADA -ed.] WADA's intention to target smokers, rather to monitor the effects nicotine can have on performance when taken in oral tobacco products such as snus."


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