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WADA maintains stance on clenbuterol

LONDON -- The World Anti-Doping Agency updated its list of banned substances and did not change its evaluation of clenbuterol, the drug that could cost Alberto Contador his third Tour de France victory.

WADA also decided against adding nicotine to its prohibited list for 2012, but will be among the substances monitored going into an Olympic year.

Contador blamed contaminated meat for his positive test for clenbuterol en route to winning the 2010 Tour. The Spaniard was cleared by his country's cycling federation, prompting WADA and the International Cycling Union to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The case will be heard in November, with Contador facing a two-year ban if found guilty of using the muscle builder.

Five Mexican soccer players used the same defense after testing positive for clenbuterol this year and were cleared by the Mexico Football Federation. WADA is also appealing that decision.

Professor David Cowan, director of the anti-doping lab for the London Olympics, told the BBC last week he backed the introduction of a minimum threshold. WADA, however, decided against any changes to its policy.

"At present, and based on expert opinions, there is no plan to introduce a threshold level for clenbuterol," WADA said in a statement released Tuesday to explain its 2012 list.

WADA does allow for the asthma drug formoterol when inhaled in "therapeutic doses," while beta blockers have been allowed in the following sports: bobsled and skeleton, curling, modern pentathlon, motorcycling, sailing and wrestling. Beta blockers, which calm nerves, remain banned from golf, archery and auto racing.

WADA had received a report from its accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, that described "alarming evidence" of nicotine use by athletes across 43 sports studied, but it decided not to elevate the product to a prohibited level.

WADA said its intention is not to target smokers but monitor the effects nicotine can have on performance when taken in such oral tobacco products as snuff. The agency added that the monitoring will be limited to in-competition.

But while nicotine is now being watched, alcohol will no longer be banned from nine- and 10-pin bowling.