Mathias Flückiger has Provisional Ban Lifted After Zeranol Test Result

Dec 21, 2022
by Ed Spratt  
These are Mathias Fluckiger conditions it s got to be said.

The Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic has announced that it has decided that Mathias Flückiger's Zeranol test result from August will not be considered a positive doping sample.

Following this decision, the Swiss Sports Integrity (SSI) has lifted Mathias Flückiger's ban after 120 days allowing him to return to competition. Mathias said: "I have never doped. The decision of the disciplinary chamber is an extremely big relief for me. It was the worst five months of my life. After months of enormously stressful waiting, I am now optimistic about the future again. Athletically, I'm more motivated than ever and I'm working on my comeback every day."

Mathias Flückiger had previously pled his innocence in September and had submitted a detailed dossier to the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic (DK) requesting the immediate lifting of the provisional ban.

A press release on the lifting of Mathias Flückiger's ban states this included details showing:

bigquotes- DK was realistically shown with the associated evidence how food contamination could have occurred.

- Flückiger's steroid profile is normal, absolutely inconspicuous.

- Flückiger independently had a hair sample taken on August 31, 2022, which was analyzed by Prof. Pascal Kintz of the University of Strasbourg on September 12, 2022. Kintz is the world's leading expert in this field and has made a name for himself in particular in hair analyses in criminal proceedings. The hair analysis was negative. No traces of zeranol or its metabolites were found in Flückiger's hair. This means that Mathias Flückiger had neither ingested small amounts of Zeranol over a longer period of time, nor a larger amount on a specific day.

- Shortly before the atypical test result at the Swiss Championships in Leysin, two negative samples were taken from Flückiger.
* Monday, May 30, 2022, training control by SSI, 6 days before XCO-SM Leysin (Sui)
* Friday, June 10, 2022, competition control by UCI/ITA, 5 days after SM, after XCC World Cup victory in Leogang (Ö).

- There are several scientific evidences and findings that a doping scenario can be excluded in the case of Mathias Flückiger: The available scientific evidence on Zeranol shows that it is highly unlikely to have an anabolic effect in humans. Zeranol is therefore not used as an anabolic steroid either in body-building circles or by athletes (WADA statistics). Zeranol is also not used in microdoses because of its non-effectiveness (unlike testosterone and testosterone-like anabolic androgenic steroids). The chemical structures of testosterone and zeranol are fundamentally different, as is their mechanism of action.

While Mathias Flückiger's ban has been lifted the case will go back to Swiss Sports Integrity where the National Anti-Doping Agency can re-evaluate the A sample taken on June 5, 2022, as either an abnormal or atypical analysis result.

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
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69 Comments
  • 213 2
 I thought Zeranol was a new continental tire?
  • 43 2
 FlückinA
  • 3 1
 You’ve obviously never been forever to watch “Grizzly & the Lemmings”. It’s like the new Acme.
  • 12 0
 I thought it was a new Haemorrhoid cream
  • 1 1
 @Mfro: LOL!! Good one!
  • 4 0
 May cause:
Enlargement of your prostate gland (increased urination)
Increased risk of prostate cancer
Lower sperm count
Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body
Enlarged or painful breasts
Problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
Blood clots in the legs
Skin redness or irritation
Increased red blood cell count
Headache, diarrhea, vomiting
Signs of puberty in young children
Enlarged penis or clitoris in children
Increased sex drive or aggressive behavior in children
Changes in body hair for grown women
Increase in acne for grown women
Please ask your doctor if this drug is right for you.
XOXO
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I never noticed the Zenithal logos all over Grizzy until you mentioned it.
  • 107 1
 Nino said it was okay for him to race again.
  • 2 1
 Capo aproved.
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: Don Capo needs (local) motivation/competition... Wink
  • 56 2
 Man, when the consequences are so high, you would think they would make sure to completely eliminate the possibility of a false positive. This is not a time when you want Flück-y results from a test.
  • 24 1
 Agreed. For Swiss Olympic to flip flop on this decision just makes everyone involved seem untrustworthy.
  • 10 3
 Definitely see a healthy number of legal suits coming out of this. Not to mention questioning anything that comes out of the Swiss testing group in the future. What a Fluck-up. I hope Mathias comes back and continues where he left off beating up on the competition. He is definitely one of the more exciting racers to watch out there.
  • 13 1
 Unfortunately, the nature of testing means that if you lower the sensitivity enough to not get false positives, you then start to get false negatives. Not making a judgement call here, just pointing that there's a trade-off to be made
  • 10 1
 @garrettstories: Agreed!!
Finally, crouching back from a suspension that never should have happend in the first place!
This bann just ignored multiple concepts and rulebooks what makes it suspicous.

Pulling out an athlete on the top of his game and then just go "na, sorry, wrong" screams for consequences and i hope this story will find it's end with a legal settlement.
For Mathias i really hope this wasn't to mentally draining and he'll be back roaring!
  • 6 2
 Maybe a ban should instead only be issued on a retest/further investigation before ruining a cyclist's livelihood?
  • 5 0
 @sack-zement: yes, super bizarre series of decisions from the anti doping org... If the info from September is accurate, it sounds like they didn't even adhere to their own rules in flagging the test as atypical in the first place. And idk why you'd suspend the guy before testing his B samples. Hopefully Mathias can at least get somewhat compensated for lost earnings / reputation damage / etc.

Hope he has an absolute heater of a season this year and can put this behind him.
  • 46 1
 Just a moment of seriousness here, to bring an athletes career to the brink of ruin is an absolute travesty. You have to feel for this guy, what a F'ING joke!!! Not even like he had a false negative for an actual PED.
  • 11 1
 Indeed. Very happy for Flukiger. How many commentators here had already tried and convicted him in the court of public opinion [based - ! believe on their own personal vanity: "I'd be that fast if I doped like the pros"]? Good to remember, doping or not there's a human being at the center of all of this.
  • 4 13
flag hamncheez (Dec 21, 2022 at 7:45) (Below Threshold)
 @juansolo57: I think he cheated, I pass judgement on him, but I have no illusions about PEDs on my aerobic performance- they would take me from terrible to somewhat less terrible.
  • 37 0
 I too, frequently independently certify that I'm innocent.
  • 35 4
 Drugs are bad, Mkay?
  • 3 0
 Will whoever has the marijuana please pass it back up to the front of the class, mmkay?
  • 21 1
 If Zeranol isn't a doping substance, why are they applying bans on positive tests?
  • 3 2
 Might be a masking agent?
  • 4 0
 Seems like a historical ban on anything with potential for abuse/advantage before the science was fully understood for each substance.

From wikiwiki
is used mainly as an anabolic agent in veterinary medicine ( non- steroidal )

Zeranol is approved for use as a growth promoter in livestock, including beef cattle, in North America and is marketed in Spain although not approved for use in the EU

Zeranol may be found as a contaminant in fungus-infected crops

www.usada.org/spirit-of-sport/education/zeranol-faq
  • 5 0
 @gcrider: Kind of wild that they're not constantly updating their policy based on new science. It shouldn't be on an athlete to fight a ban caused by a substance that the governing body should know isn't a performance enhancer.
  • 2 0
 And it is still on wada 2023 banned list.
Usada updated there info in 2021 but no progress has been made up until wada published its 2023 list in September.
I think the testing equipment is so advanced now. Tiny trace amounts can be detected. This means no tested athlete can safely eat red meat in North America or Europe.

Grigory Rodchenkov biography
( the doping doctor from academy award winning documentary is a great read. )
Reading Alberto contadors CAS report. His dodgy beef defence wasn’t that dodgy. The plastersizer? in his blood and confidential informer didn’t help.
@jayacheess:
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: I think they do update their policy based on new science, but maybe they don't clean up what was based on old stuff? At Every conference I went in my field (related to muscle physiology) there was some attendees from WADA
  • 22 4
 Bring on the fluggegecheimen!!!!!!
  • 8 0
 Ze safe vword!
  • 6 0
 Club Vandersexxx
  • 4 0
 Does Flück get his free T-Shirt??
  • 4 0
 "Club Provisional Ban'dersexxx"...
  • 9 0
 Seems very odd that SSI reported the result as a positive, when guidelines said they shouldn’t have. And then it took 5 months and multiple independent lab tests for the disciplinary chamber to reverse their erroneous report. Seems to me like someone at SSI has it out for Flückiger.
  • 4 0
 A Swiss national XC and Nino fan maybe?
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: Fluckiger was getting in the way of Nino. . and also made him crash. .
  • 11 0
 "My bad" - Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympics
  • 3 0
 Not the disciplinary chamber, but Swiss Sport Integrity who f'd up. My guess is, that they will pull it to CAS Lausanne, just to try and prove that they want to be right and end up in an even worse position than they are now.
  • 10 1
 Guilty until proven innocent
  • 12 3
 Thank Flück for that.
  • 7 5
 No, Fluck Me! That means Armstrong is clean!
  • 2 3
 @CSharp: oh for Fluck's sake.
  • 2 2
 ...Fluck Yeah!
  • 7 1
 Looking forward to more Fluckiger battles in the next season. Something tells me he is out for blood after this screw up.
  • 13 0
 Wonder what strings Nino will pull next year to keep him out of contention for the rainbow stripes
  • 2 1
 @MajorClod: Probably the strings Nino will pull will be the sinews in Nino's own legs.
  • 4 1
 I wonder what that doc could tell from my hair sample....likely conclude it came from a dead body.

Innocent until proven guilty or my doctors are better then your lab tests? So hard to have faith in fair play in cycling.
  • 6 0
 The Nino cabal has been thwarted.
  • 4 0
 @kingbike Nino has let him off for now, gotta save something for next year
  • 5 0
 It was all about thinning the field end of season for The Nino....
  • 4 3
 There should be an asterisk next to Nino getting most XC races ever won! Incredible that a scientific testing agency, lab, should have the power it has if it is used so cavalier and recklessly
  • 3 0
 He will be racing Zerotonol races next year.
  • 2 1
 Flück yeah!
  • 1 1
 Sounds like a scam to me they allowed pros to use their Asma inhalers.
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