• Australian cyclist Michael Rogers has tested positive for a banned substance but blames his food. (AAP)
Australian cyclist Michael Rogers has tested positive to clenbuterol but claims contaminated food is to blame.
Source
AAP
UPDATED 8:28 PM - 19 Dec 2013

Cycling Australia (CA) wants no mercy for respected cyclist Michael Rogers if he is found guilty of doping.

The three-time world time trial champion and 2004 Olympic bronze medallist tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol at his last race of the season, the October 20 Japan Cup.

Rogers, a respected figure in the sport, has been provisionally suspended by the sport's governing body.

But the Saxo-Tinkoff rider denies deliberate doping, fearing a contaminated food source is behind the positive test.

Interim CA chief executive Adrian Anderson also revealed on Thursday that Rogers does not hold an Australian racing licence, meaning that body will not hear his case.

It is understood that Rogers has a Swiss or Italian licence.

Rogers last rode for Australia at last year's Olympics.

Anderson said "not many" Australian professionals had licences with other national federations.

He was also blunt when commenting on Rogers' positive urine test.

"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 said.

Rogers' positive is the latest blow for a sport that insists the Lance Armstrong doping era is history.

"For too long, this great sport of cycling has been let down by drug cheats," Anderson said.

"This sport has had a tortured history of doping.

"Of course these sorts of incidents ... do tarnish the sport."

Rogers competed in China a week before his failed test.

The UCI and WADA have warned athletes to exercise caution in China when eating meat.

"Michael Rogers immediately informed Saxo-Tinkoff's management about the notification from the UCI," the cycling team said in a statement.

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

Saxo-Tinkoff added that Rogers travelled directly from China to Japan before the Japan Cup.

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

Clenbuterol, which helps build muscle and burn fat, is the substance Alberto Contador tested positive to at the 2010 Tour de France, resulting in his loss of the title.

Contador blamed contaminated meat for the positive test but WADA rejected the Spaniard's claim.

Rogers joined Contador at Team Saxo-Tinkoff last season from Team Sky, where he rode in support of 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins.

The Australian left Sky after evidence in the Lance Armstrong case alleged he had worked with the American's favoured doctor Michele Ferrari.

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 EPO.

Rogers was upgraded to bronze in the time trial at the 2004 Atlanta Olympics when Tyler Hamilton was disqualified.

The Japan Cup was his only win this season.

The UCI said the decision to suspend Rogers was made in response to a report from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Tokyo indicating an "adverse analytical finding of clenbuterol" in a urine sample collected during the event.

The governing body announced Belgian rider Jonathan Breyne has also been suspended after testing positive to clenbuterol at a Chinese race on November 5.

Former Australian cyclists Stuart O'Grady and Matt White this year admitted to doping during their careers but, unlike Rogers, they did not test positive in-competition.