Danish rider Philip Nielsen
DENMARK’S anti-doping body has acquitted cyclist Philip Nielsen of intentionally doping during last year’s Tour of Mexico.
Torben Jessen of the Danish sports federation’s doping board said yesterday that Nielsen didn’t know there was a risk when he ate beef contaminated with clenbuterol, for which he tested positive.
Jessen said there was "no reason" to ban him for doping.
The board immediately lifted his suspension imposed by the UCI on September 30.
Nielsen was a member of Team Concordia when he rode the Tour of Mexico in April and May 2010.
Alberto Contador also tested positive for clenbuterol from beef in winning his third Tour de France last year. He eventually was cleared.
Meanwhile, Gatis Smukulis of Latvia won the opening stage of Volta of Catalunya in Spain on Monday, and Contador finished 10th as a decision looms from cycling’s governing body over whether to appeal his clearance of a doping ban.
Smukulis finished the 166.9km ride beginning and ending in Lloret de Mar in northeastern Spain in 4 hours, 8 minutes, 48 seconds.
The HTC-Highroad rider was followed by a pack, including Contador, finishing 28 seconds behind.
"The team did an extraordinary job minimizing the time difference," Contador said. "It was important that the break did get a four- or five-minute lead. I hope that tomorrow’s stage will be calmer."
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