[Press Release] – Almost three weeks after the communication of a positive A-sample for the substance Zeranol, the Swiss mountain biker Mathias Flückiger speaks out for the first time and clarifies: “I have not knowingly ingested Zeranol.” The amount apparently found in Mathias Flückiger’s A-sample is so small that Flückiger’s A-sample should only have been evaluated as an « atypical result », but not as a « positive result ».
To his knowledge, Mathias Flückiger has never ingested a prohibited substance. Apparently, however, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne found minimal amounts of Zeranol in the A-sample of June 5, 2022.
The Lausanne laboratory therefore pointed out in its doping control report on the A-sample that this could indicate the consumption of contaminated meat, especially since Zeranol is not known as a doping agent. The smallest amount found thus had no performance-enhancing effect anyway.
In order to prevent false prejudgements, WADA has issued an instruction for the anti-doping authorities on how to proceed in such cases (Stakeholder Notice regarding potential meat contamination cases of June 1, 2021). Unfortunately, Swiss Sport Integrity did not follow this instruction. According to this, the A-sample of Mathias Flückiger should only have been evaluated as an «atypical result», but not as a «positive result».
This assessment would have been urgently indicated, especially in view of the much more sensitive measuring methods of the Lausanne laboratory (compared to other laboratories). The amount apparently found in Mathias Flückiger’s A-sample is many times lower (0.3 ng/mL) than the threshold value for possible meat contamination (5 ng/mL). In addition, Flückiger gave two negative anti-doping samples a few days before and a few days after the June 5 test.
In the meantime, Mathias Flückiger consulted Swiss Sport Integrity’s files and requested all documentation (Documentation Package) from the Lausanne laboratory regarding the A-sample. Swiss Sport Integrity has suspended all deadlines until the Documentation Package is handed over, which is why no B-sample has been requested to date.
Mathias Flückiger is currently intensively examining all possible explanations as to how this atypical result could have come about. A hair analysis has already been commissioned from Prof. Pascal Kintz and Mathias Flückiger has assured Swiss Sport Integrity of his willingness to cooperate fully in any investigation.
Due to the intensive investigations, the complexity of the case and the ongoing proceedings, Mathias Flückiger will not make any further statements at this time.