Per Stig MÃ¸ller Culture Minister of Denmark is to put pressure on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to clear up its rules on the possibility of clenbuterol traces from contaminated food in doping tests.
As the rules are today, athletes risk a 2 year suspension and eternal stigmatization, if they are caught with even the slightest amount of clenbuterol in their body. But there is evidence that you can get traces of clenbuterol from contaminated food, for instance from farmers using steroids in raising cattle.
Clenbuterol is illegal in the EU food industry, but is widely used in Asia, USA and Mexico. Several labs and agencies have issued traved advisories, warning athetes travelling for instance to China about the risk of inadvertent clenbuterol ingestion.
What is needed according to the Danes, is a lower limit of allowed clenbuterol traces. As it is, there is a hole in the regulation, putting fear into every athlete, while at the same time giving real doping offenders an easy ‘beef excluse’.
Well known clenbuterol cases are for instance Spanish Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who tested positive for clenbuterol and propes a one-year ban, which later was canceled by the Spanish cycling federation. And American breaststroker Jessica Hardy, who tested positive at the U.S. Olympic Trials in July 2008, and served a one-year suspension.