18 Sep 2011

Anti-Doping Agency to discuss lifting ban on drug

6:14 am on 18 September 2011

Executives from the World Anti-Doping Agency are expected to discuss whether to relax the absolute ban on a widely abused drug, clenbuterol, at a meeting in Switzerland this weekend.

Clenbuterol is a powerful drug used to treat asthma, but it can also help build up lean muscle mass and burn off fat.

Many athletes illegally use the drug to build up muscles.

WADA's rules deem the slightest trace of it to be a doping infringement.

But some scientists and athletes say it is possible to ingest small amounts of clenbuterol while eating beef, because farmers use it as a growth promoter.

Recent cases include 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador who tested positive for a minute quantity of clenbuterol.

Five Mexican footballers all tested positive for clenbuterol at the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this year.

The BBC reports WADA is likely to stick with the status quo.