5 Mexico Soccer Internationals Test Positive for Clenbuterol

June 10, 2011

Mexico’s national soccer side qualified for the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup yesterday, June 9, despite having suspended five senior international players just hours before their 5-0 5-0 thrashing of Cuba for testing positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol.

Antonio Naelson, Christian Bermudez, Edgar Duenas, Francisco Javier Rodriguez and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa tested positive during a training camp in Mexico according to tournament organizer CONCACAF, currently in turmoil following the suspension of their own president and subsequently, acting president.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, will hold a meeting today to discuss the issue and decide whether Mexico can replace the suspended players after claiming that the five may have inadvertently ingested the substance.

Clenbuterol is used to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma and can increase aerobic capacity by improving the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream. Farmers sometimes use it illegally to bulk up cattle more quickly.

In fact, just this April, Germany’s anti-doping agency advised soccer players attending this month’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico to avoid eating meat because of the widespread use of clenbuterol by farmers.

“As far as possible the consumption of meat products should be omitted,” the German agency said at the time.