German and Spanish news media have reported on Wednesday that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is planning to appeal against a decision to clear 22-year-old German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov over a positive for clenbuterol caused by contaminated meat.

Citing un-named sources in the German Table Tennis Federation (DTTB) and within WADA itself, the reports state that WADA is not satisfied with the verdict and will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). WADA itself has made no official comment on the case.

Ovtcharov’s case arguably presents certain similarities to Contador’s. Like the Spaniard, the German tested positive for clenbuterol in a miniscule quantity – 75 picograms – and the analysis was carried out in the same laboratory in Cologne that revealed Contador’s positive.

Like Contador, too, the German then claimed that he had been a victim of contaminated meat – in Ovtcharov’s case, in China, given that he had eaten beef whilst at the China Open tournament.

The DTTB and the International Table Tennis Federation both accepted Ovtcharov’s explanation – according to one European Table Tennis Union press release, complete with backing from the Cologne anti-doping lab boss Wilhelm Schanzer himself, who apparently admitted there were cases of clenbuterol abuse in livestock in China – and the player was cleared.

But now it would appear, although it has yet to be confirmed officially, that WADA wish to re-open the case.

WADA president David Howman has already stated that they will use CAS if necessary in the Contador case, currently being analysed by the Spanish Cycling Federation.

Howman told the New York Times last week “there are perceived and potential conflicts, but I think the only thing we can say is that we have the right to appeal.”

Related links

Contador doping case: WADA ready to appeal, Landis critical

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  • paul c

    Thing i like about this is that it is not a cyclist for a change that has tested positive, its another sport alltogether. Wonder if we would of even heard about it at all if it wasnt so similar to a cyclists case. Which makes me think any positive test’s in any sport should be printed in the papers just as cycling sports persons are (name and shame them and the sport they partake in). This will then highlight what goes on in the world of sport behind peoples backs and what gets brushed under the carpet in the bigger sports events…….football, tennis, extreme tiddlywinks. But as the old saying goes……money talks.

  • Mike

    Yep. You are right., and that would point to the probability of him having a transfusion of contaminated blood the nignt befor the Tours toughest stage.

  • Griz

    Dave S
    Contador was tested on three consecutive days. The Clenbuterol was detected in the middle one of the the three the other two were negative. It was, indeed, not there one day, there the next and gone the next. Clenbutrol is commonly found in beef and pork throughout mainland Europe, despite the fact that many countries prohibit it’s use in animal rearing. Can you vouch for the origin and quality of every mouthful of food you eat?
    If you live in London, a comprehensive analysis of your blood and urine will show traces of oral contraceptives because of their use by women further up the water chain. Given the use of Clenbuterol by many people as a dieting aid, could you guarantee that you would not produce the sort of positive levels Contador showed.
    I’m not suggesting that you would, but we need to keep a sense of proportion and to remember that sports people are just ordinary human beings. It is no more possible for them to test every mouthful of their food than it is for you to do so.

  • Dave S

    Griz, it hardly matters what level of clenbuterol was detected. Its presence in the body isn’t like an on/off switch, there one minute and gone the next. After ingestion, like any substance, its level drops steadily over time.

    Clenbuterol at any level is banned, it’s man made – so its presence in the body at any level, however minute, means it shouldn’t be there.

    Whether Contador took it purposefully or by accident, it shouldn’t be in his body, the rules are that he is responsible for everything going into his body and that’s that.

    But at least Contador didn’t say the clen came from some sweets that his gran gave him. That was a corker, Mr Gibo.

  • Griz

    Has anyone considered the effective dose of clenbuterol? It’s 100 to 140 micrograms. A seventh to a tenth of a gram. What was Contador’s reading again? 5 picograms, that is 5 trillionth’s of a gram. I think a sense of proportion is required in this matter, don’t you?

  • Mike

    NOT finding something that IS in a sample is a mistake.

    Finding a substance in a sample that is not there? That would be a downright lie, or magic, especially when thay then have to test the B sample for confirmation and have no idea who the sample was taken from.
    No, lets face it, these guys had clenbuterol in there systems and it is not a naturaly occuring substance, at any leve,l in the human body.

  • Brian

    Sure labs can make mistakes … but the truth is sportmen do dope.

  • Ken Evans

    “….and the analysis was carried out in the same laboratory
    in Cologne that revealed Contador’s positive.”

    Labs can make mistakes.
    Repeat analysis in another lab if possible.