Rudi van Houts, suspended last year by the Multivan-Merida mountain bike team after testing positive for clenbuterol, is back on the squad.
Van Houts, a teammate of world XC champ Jose Hermida, was able to prove that the clenbuterol came from contaminated meat he ate while in Mexico last December. Clenbuterol is the same substance that multi-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador allegedly ingested after eating a tainted steak at the 2010 Tour de France.
Afer being cleared by the Dutch Cycling Federation, Multivan-Merida team management had hoped to have van Houts back racing for the squad at the Offenburg, Germany World Cup. But the appeal period by international anti-doping officials had yet to pass. Instead, van Houts has been racing for the Danish national team at events.
In the first three World Cups of the season he finished 24th, 14th and 11th. He is currently 16th in the World Cup standings.
Van Houts was banned last year after triggering a clenbuterol positive of 30 picograms (even less than Contador’s 50 picograms). The rider successfully argued that the banned substance entered his body after eating contaminated meat during a racing trip to Mexico. He was cleared by Dutch cycling officials after they decided he did not ingest the clenbuterol knowingly.