Mexican league players cleared of doping over clenbuterol

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Two Mexican league players who tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol have escaped punishment after the substance was traced to contaminated meat, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) said.

“(Because of) the exceptional circumstances, no suspension will be applied,” the FMF said in a statement.

“Given that no doping rule was broken and that the players asked to keep their identity confidential, the names of the players will not be made public,” it added.

The tests took place between July 19 and 21.

In 2011, five members of the Mexican national team tested positive for clenbuterol, also blamed on contaminated meat, at a training camp held shortly before the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

None of the five were allowed to take part in the tournament although they were later cleared of any doping offence.

More than 100 players tested positive for the substance during the Under-17 World Cup held in Mexico in June-July the same year.

They were also acquitted of any wrongdoing after FIFA, soccer’s governing body, said they were victims of a health problem in the country.

Mexican authorities admitted at the time that the country has been affected by the practice of injecting cattle with the anabolic agent, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Double Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain was handed a two-year ban for testing positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 race, despite claiming he ate contaminated meat.

The International Cycling Union (UCI), WADA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled there was no evidence which supported Contador’s version.

Reporting by Carlos Calvo, Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Julien Pretot