Sport Cycling Cycling drug tests bring tragedy, defiance

Cycling drug tests bring tragedy, defiance

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Belgian cyclist Jonathan Breyne has tried to commit suicide after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, Belgian media has reported.

Breyne, 22, was hospitalised in the city of Ghent after taking an overdose on Thursday afternoon, although he was allowed to return home after spending the night under observation, according to reports in several newspapers.

Breyne, who rode for the Crelan team last season, tested positive during the Tour of Taihu Lake in China in November, where he won a stage.

“I don’t understand. I have done nothing. I am broken, disgusted,” he told La Derniere Heure in tears on Wednesday, blaming the positive test on contaminated meat.

The news came after Rogers reiterated his claims of innocence in relation to his provisional suspension after testing positive to clenbuterol.

Rogers was on Wednesday provisionally suspended by the UCI, world cycling’s governing body after he returned an A Sample from his successful Japan Cup campaign showing traces of the banned substance.

In a statement dated the 20th of October, Rogers fervently argued he was the victim of a mix-up with contaminated food in China.

“I would like to make it very clear, in the strongest terms possible that I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested Clenbuterol,” the statement said.

“I can advise that during the period 8th-17th of October, before arriving in Japan, I was present in China for the World Tour 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 containated with clenbuterol is a serious problem in China.

“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.

“I would like to thank those around the world, who have shown compassion and understanding of this situation that I’ve been placed in.”

While Rogers is correct about Chinese meat often containing questionable additives, fellow Australian champion cyclist Anna Meares told ABC’s Grandstand that professional athletes must take responsibility for what they consume in terms of food supplements and medicine.

She also said national team managers had warned the cycling team as recently as this month’s world cup in Mexico about eating pork, beef and lamb because of the dangers of accidentally ingest a banned substance.

Rogers’ teammate at Saxo-Tinkoff Alberto Contador also tested positive to clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

Contador argued that the positive result was due to contaminated meat, but his appeal failed and he had to serve a ban.