US distance runner cleared of doping after ‘contaminated meat’ defense
Track and field athlete Cabada, who competed at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, tested positive for trace amounts of clenbuterol as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on December 6, 2016.
However, after an investigation that gathered evidence from Cabada and reviewed the athlete’s whereabouts and dietary habits, USADA adjudged Cabada to have ingested clenbuterol due to the presence of the substance in contaminated meat.
Clenbuterol is an anabolic agent prohibited at all times under the USADA protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Evidence from laboratory reports also demonstrated very low parts per billion concentrations of the prohibited substance in Cabada’s urine sample.
“Fernando Cabada tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence,” a USADA statement read.
“Consistent with numerous prior reported cases globally, the issue of illicit administration of clenbuterol to animals destined for food production can result in, under specific conditions, a positive sample from an athlete.”
The statement underlined that, although the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued warnings about the problem of contaminated meat in Mexico and China, positive tests from such cases are “rare” outside of these two countries.
USADA also conceded that it is not aware of any instances in which an athlete’s sample tested positive for clenbuterol after consumption of meat produced within the US.
Following the investigation, USADA concluded that “it was highly unlikely that the presence of clenbuterol in the athlete’s sample resulted from a source other than clenbuterol contaminated meat consumed in Mexico.
“As a result, Cabada will not face a period of ineligibility for his positive test, and because the sample was collected out-of-competition, there are no competitive results to be disqualified,” the statement announced.
Cabada, a Mexican-American from Colorado, boasts a personal best of 28 minutes, 25 seconds in the 10,000 meter event and 2 hours 11 minutes for his specialist marathon event , recorded in Berlin in 2014.