Posted by Editoress on 12/16/10
The Multivan Merida Biking Team has terminated all contracts with Rudi van Houts with immediate effect.
Traces of clenbuterol have been found in a urine test sample taken from Dutch athlete Rudi van Houts, who has been part of the Multivan Merida Biking Team in 2009 and 2010. The control took place at the end of October in Holland, thus after the racing season had finished. The initial finding has been confirmed as the B-sample also tested positive.
Consistently following its strict and voluntary self-incured commitment to a zero-tolerance-strategy regarding doping matters, the Multivan Merida Biking Team has cancelled their contracts with Rudi van Houts right after having been informed about the positive result of the A-sample, thus reacting to the first piece of qualified suspicion regarding an offence against the rules.
Van Houts himself guesses that this substance potentially got into his body due to the ingestion of tainted meat during a stay in Mexico. The internationally binding anti-doping rules clearly state a strict liability, so the athlete has to prove his innocence. If an athlete cannot do so, he is facing a two-year suspension. For the moment, and until a binding Doping Panel's Decision will be rendered, the regulations provide the rider has to be provisionally suspended from racing by his national federation.
Dutch journalist Marcel Slagman has provided the following comments from van Houts:
Rudi van Houts asked the Dutch doping expert Douwe de Boer, of the Maastricht University Medical Centre, to help him to prove he is innocent. At the moment De Boer is helping also other sportsmen with the same problem. After the test a minimal amount of 30 pg/ml clenbuterol was found in his body. By comparison, Alberto Contador had 50 pg/ml.
"I know I am innocent," Van Houts says. "In Mexico we ate a lot of meat, it is possible the clenbuterol was in this food. Otherwise I wouldn't know how the clenbuterol came into my body. I am going to do everything to prove I am innocent." Rudi van Houts already took the initiative to do a hair analysis test.
In October German table tennis-international Dmitrij Ovtcharov, who also had clenbuterol in his body after a trip to China, did a hair analysis test and was found not guilty. He blamed contaminated food for clenbuterol positives.
Italian cyclist Alessandro Colo had clenbuterol in his body, riding the Tour of Mexico. His lawyer and biologist discovered official data that showed 18 percent of all the meat in Mexico is treated with clenbuterol.
"I hold on to these cases. I am not quitting. If you know you didn't take the clenbuterol, you have enough reasons to prove you are innocent," Rudi van Houts says.
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