More than 100 players tested
positive for the banned substance clenbuterol during the Under-17 World Cup held in Mexico in June-July,
a FIFA official said on Monday.
Jiri Dvorak, head of world governing body FIFA's medical
services, said the players were not punished because they were
not considered cases of doping but rather part of a big health
problem in Mexico.
Dvorak said in a teleconference that "208 urine samples were
collected during the (Under-17) World Cup and we analysed them
in accredited WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) laboratories," he
"It was an enormous surprise that 109 samples showed traces
of clenbuterol, that means 52.4 percent of the players."
Mexican authorities have admitted the country has been
affected by the practice of injecting cattle with the steroid,
which is banned by WADA.
The players of the Mexico team that won the tournament
tested negative because they had stuck to a diet of fish and
"It's not a doping problem, it's a public health problem.
When, in the first week of the tournament, we detected three
cases and then another it was quite a surprise," Dvorak said.
Last week, WADA withdrew an appeal at the Court for
Arbitration in Sport against the Mexican Football Federation's
(FMF) decision not to sanction five senior players who tested
positive for clenbuterol at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United
States in June.
The FMF claimed the players had eaten beef contaminated by
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