After the first weekend of games in Liga Bancomer MX, two players tested positive for clenbuterol. Unfortunately for the Mexican federation, it has a history with this substance, as five players tested positive for it during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Those players were absolved after their positive tests were deemed to have been caused by consuming contaminated meat. Likewise, the two players who tested positive last weekend were cleared, and the federation will not publicly name them.
As has widely been reported by Mexican press, the teams that were tested in the first week of matches were Cruz Azul, Morelia, Queretaro and Monterrey. Mexico international Jesus Corona and Manuel Marin were tested from Cruz Azul; Fernando Silva and Ferando Zarate from Morelia; Omar Arellano and Luis Madrigal from Monterrey, as well as Amaury Escoto and Marco Jiménez from Queretaro.
The site’s Eric Gómez went further in revealing the possible identities of the players:
Mexico GK Jesus Corona admits he is one of two players implicated in failed doping tests; assures it was accidental.
— Eric Gómez (@goaleric) August 8, 2013
Second player named in failed drug test is Queretaro’s Marco Jimenez. Again, no player has been ID’d publicly by Federation.
— Eric Gómez (@goaleric) August 9, 2013
Corona has since been named in Mexico’s squad to face the Ivory Coast in East Rutherford, N.J.
Clenbuterol is used to treat breathing disorders, and it causes an increase in aerobic ability and allows oxygen to be distributed more efficiently. Asthma patients’ inhalers are frequently some form of clenbuterol.
The World Anti-Doping Agency acquitted the Mexican players during the Gold Cup because the substance is found in abundance in Mexican meat.
“WADA has subsequently received compelling evidence … that indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol,” the organization said then. “This is a public health issue that is now being addressed urgently by the Mexican government.”
In addition, out of 208 urine samples taken at the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico, 109 tested positive for the substance.
FIFA medical officer Jiri Dvorak, well aware of the cause, told reporters at the time: “It is not a problem of doping, but a problem of public health.”