Cycling Australia says it supports sanctions against Rogers if guilty of doping

The Saxo-Tinkoff rider tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol in October

(AFP) — A day after news broke of Australian Michael Rogers’ positive test for clenbuterol, Cycling Australia has commented on the 33-year-old’s case. Rogers claims he ingested the banned substance through food.

Interim Cycling Australia chief executive Adrian Anderson said Thursday that Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) does not hold an Australian racing license, meaning the body will not hear his doping case.

“While we respect Michael Rogers’ right to defend himself, we will support the maximum sanctions applicable in the event that he’s found guilty of doping,” Anderson told a media conference.

The positive test came at the Japan Cup, which Rogers won, in October. The UCI announced on Wednesday that the Australian was provisionally suspended.

“Michael Rogers immediately informed Saxo’s management about the notification from the UCI,” the Danish cycling team said in a statement late Wednesday.

“The Australian explained to the team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding (originates) from a contaminated food source.

“Michael Rogers participated in the Tour of Beijing the week before the Japan Cup and traveled directly from China to Japan.”

Rogers has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

The Australian won three consecutive world time trial championships between 2003 and 2005, the first of which was awarded to him after David Millar confessed to taking blood-booster EPO.

Clenbuterol, a veterinary drug for treating asthma in horses, also helps build muscle and burn fat, and is the substance Spaniard Alberto Contador tested positive for at the 2010 Tour de France, resulting in the stripping of his title.