5 October 2017

FIVB accepts clenbuterol positive was caused by contaminated meat

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has lifted a provisional suspension imposed on Ana Antonijevic, after accepting that the Serbian’s positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat at a tournament in China. A Serbia volleyball association (OSSRB) statement said that Antonijevic’s adverse analytical finding was caused by eating contaminated meat in Nanjing, China, and she is now free to play for Volero Zurich in upcoming club competitions.

The FIVB’s decision could be good news for Italian Miriam Sylla, who also tested positive during the FIVB Grand Prix, which took place in Nanjing. It is understood that the players were housed at the same hotel.

Clenbuterol is still used in animal feed despite being banned in the US since 1991 and by the European Union since 1996 – it has a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set by the same body. In 2011, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sent a warning to athletes that food in Mexico and China could be contaminated with the substance.

Although it is understood that both players reported AAFs for low levels of clenbuterol, it is not a ‘specified substance’ on WADA’s Prohibited List, which means that there is no excuse for an AAF – even if the amount found is lower than required to produce an active physiological effect. In 2013, Alberto Contador found this out to his cost. Last year, a documentary for ARD found that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against pursuing clenbuterol cases, after low levels of the substance were found through retesting of samples given at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

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