Belgian cyclist Jonathan Breyne has tried to commit suicide after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, Belgian media reported on Saturday.
Breyne, 22, was hospitalised in the city of Ghent after taking an overdose on Thursday afternoon, although he was allowed to return home after spending the night under observation, according to reports in several newspapers.
Breyne, who rode for the Crelan team last season, tested positive during the Tour of Taihu Lake in China in November, where he won a stage.
“I don’t understand. I have done nothing. I am broken, disgusted,” he told La Derniere Heure in tears on Wednesday, blaming the positive test on contaminated meat.
Australia’s former world time trial champion Michael Rogers is also in trouble for a positive test at an October race in Japan, just after he raced in China.
The provisionally-suspended Rogers issued a statement on Friday insisting he never knowingly took clenbuterol and that he also was the victim of tainted Chinese meat.
“In the following weeks I will have the opportunity to explain this unfortunate situation to the UCI, in which I will give my full attention and cooperation to resolve this issue in the quickest time frame possible,” he said.
“During the period October 8-17, before arriving in Japan, I was present in China for the World Tour race, Tour of Beijing.
“I understand that it has been acknowledged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as other anti-doping bodies, that food contaminated with clenbuterol is a serious problem in China.”
Rogers’ teammate at Saxo-Tinkoff Alberto Contador also tested positive to clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.
Contador argued that the positive result was due to contaminated meat, but his appeal failed and he had to serve a ban.