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Dimitrij Ovtcharov to face WADA appeal

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The World Anti-Doping Agency is challenging a decision that cleared Olympic table tennis medalist Dimitrij Ovtcharov of doping despite his positive test for clenbuterol.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says WADA has filed an appeal against Ovtcharov and the German table tennis federation, which closed his case in October.

Ovtcharov tested positive in China in August for the banned anabolic agent, which burns fat and builds muscle. The German federation accepted that Ovtcharov likely ate contaminated meat.

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is using the same argument to fight his positive test for clenbuterol.

"We have registered the case and the procedure has been initiated," said Matthieu Reeb, the secretary general at world sport's highest court of appeal.

Ovtcharov faces a two-year ban. The CAS is asking all parties for written evidence before setting a date to hear the appeal. A ruling typically follows several weeks after the hearing.

The German federation dropped its disciplinary case after a doping expert advised that the 12th-ranked Ovtcharov probably wasn't to blame.

Wilhelm Schaenzer, head of the WADA-accredited laboratory at Cologne, wrote that "the intake of clenbuterol through contaminated food was the likeliest explanation for the finding."

Contador, who has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union, is using the same argument in his disciplinary case being prosecuted by the Spanish cycling federation.

The three-time Tour winner claims he ate contaminated steak brought from Spain to France on a race rest day in July.

One of Contador's urine samples later showed traces of clenbuterol in tests conducted at the Cologne lab that cleared Ovtcharov.

Ovtcharov won a silver medal in the team event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.