The World Anti-Doping Agency has withdrawn its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the dismissal of charges that Danish rider Philip Nielsen doped with Clenbuterol. WADA has apparently accepted Nielsen's contention that he ate contaminated meat whilst racing in Mexico.
Nielsen, then riding for the Continental-ranked team Concordia Forsikring-Himmerland, had won the final stage of the Vuelta a Mexico in April 2010 when he tested positive. The results of the doping control were not announced until January of this year, at which point the team released him.
In March of this year, the Danish cycling federation said it would not sanction him, ruling that the substance came from contaminated food and that Nielsen was not negligent or at fault. WADA appealed that decision to CAS, but has now withdrawn its appeal.
Nielsen had denied using the product and claimed he must have ingested it from contaminated food from the buffet at his hotel in Mexico. He joined the Christina Watches team in May, and is currently looking for a contract for the coming season.
WADA also withdrew its appeal in a similar case concerning five Mexican football players. WADA said that it had “received compelling evidence from a FIFA study at the U17 World Cup in Mexico that indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol. This is a public health issue that is now being addressed urgently by the Mexican Government.”
It is not known how this might affect the Clenbuterol doping case against Alberto Contador, who tested positive at the 2010 Tour de France. The Spanish cycling federation earlier this year dismissed the charges against him, but WADA and the UCI have both appealed to CAS. Hearings are scheduled for next month.