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9 Mexican soccer players cleared for Clenbuterol

Feb 14, 2010
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I thought I'd give the topic one more chance. On June 9 the Mexican Football Federation announced that five members of the Gold Cup team tested positive on May 21. They immediately arranged for second tests, hired one of Contador's lawyers, sent a Notary Public gathering meat to go to labs, etc.

At first they insisted there were only five players involved, but Mexican journos were told otherwise. The President of FIFA said on camera, in two languages, that he was surprised to hear of additional players with the same substance. The media jumped on that, and he sent out a flunky the next day to carefully deny that he'd said what he said.

The Federation finally admitted that they had contacted the UCLA Lab while working on their defense, asking if any of the other nine players tested that day had the same substance. They were told that yes, four did, but in amounts that weren't considered doping. The Federation has still refused to name the four players, but the press got their hands on documents with the names, and quantities of one with 200 picograms and three others with 30 picograms each.

The Mexican media reports that these were sent to WADA Labs in Montreal and Cologne for further evaluation. But if the Mexican Federation Football Committee Disciplinary Committee found a guy with 4200 picograms innocent, they certainly won't do anything with guys who had 30 the same day, at the same training center, after eating at the same dining hall.

It's up to WADA now. They've had the information for some time. They're aware that their largest lab has not issued Adverse Analytical Findings for four athletes who had Clenbuterol in tests, because the amounts were below a required testing threshold, so it was up to the lab if they wanted to call them positives or ignore them. Just like it was apparently with Cologne and Contador's sample. The four were never even suspended, so they were allowed to compete in the entire Gold Cup, including the championship win over the U.S.

FIFA has already said they're fine with the accidentally ingested, food contamination theory.

One of the players started practicing with a new team in France this week, and can now sign a contract. Two others are to be back at Toluca by Monday. Another plays in The Netherlands, so could possibly face another hurdle there.

I've got a whole month's worth of links. I posted a bunch in another thread. Here's one of the articles announcing the five being found innocent - the four aren't even mentioned, because what's 200 picograms of Clenbuterol, right? There's plenty more in Google News "any language", but you need to spell it "clembuterol"

http://www.radioformula.com.mx/notas.asp?Idn=183942
 
In Mexico, the chances are much higher that the players would *actually* have been exposed to clenbuterol in their meat supply. Regulations just aren't enforced as well as say, the EU. Clenbuterol has been found in many samples of meat in Mexico.

Total judgement call, I'd give low-level Clenbuterol detections a free pass from athletes living in Mexico. High levels? No.
 
A

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theswordsman said:
I thought I'd give the topic one more chance. On June 9 the Mexican Football Federation announced that five members of the Gold Cup team tested positive on May 21. They immediately arranged for second tests, hired one of Contador's lawyers, sent a Notary Public gathering meat to go to labs, etc.

At first they insisted there were only five players involved, but Mexican journos were told otherwise. The President of FIFA said on camera, in two languages, that he was surprised to hear of additional players with the same substance. The media jumped on that, and he sent out a flunky the next day to carefully deny that he'd said what he said.

The Federation finally admitted that they had contacted the UCLA Lab while working on their defense, asking if any of the other nine players tested that day had the same substance. They were told that yes, four did, but in amounts that weren't considered doping. The Federation has still refused to name the four players, but the press got their hands on documents with the names, and quantities of one with 200 picograms and three others with 30 picograms each.

The Mexican media reports that these were sent to WADA Labs in Montreal and Cologne for further evaluation. But if the Mexican Federation Football Committee Disciplinary Committee found a guy with 4200 picograms innocent, they certainly won't do anything with guys who had 30 the same day, at the same training center, after eating at the same dining hall.

It's up to WADA now. They've had the information for some time. They're aware that their largest lab has not issued Adverse Analytical Findings for four athletes who had Clenbuterol in tests, because the amounts were below a required testing threshold, so it was up to the lab if they wanted to call them positives or ignore them. Just like it was apparently with Cologne and Contador's sample. The four were never even suspended, so they were allowed to compete in the entire Gold Cup, including the championship win over the U.S.

FIFA has already said they're fine with the accidentally ingested, food contamination theory.

One of the players started practicing with a new team in France this week, and can now sign a contract. Two others are to be back at Toluca by Monday. Another plays in The Netherlands, so could possibly face another hurdle there.

I've got a whole month's worth of links. I posted a bunch in another thread. Here's one of the articles announcing the five being found innocent - the four aren't even mentioned, because what's 200 picograms of Clenbuterol, right? There's plenty more in Google News "any language", but you need to spell it "clembuterol"

http://www.radioformula.com.mx/notas.asp?Idn=183942
another link.
http://www.footballfancast.com/2011...ing?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
 
The allegedly contaminated meat was never tested, and no mention if there was an attempt to trace it to its source.

No mention if all the players who ate with those who tested positive were also tested, and also tested positive.

There was more than a 100-fold difference in CB levels in different players. If they were all tested at the same time, contaminated meat would have to have been consumed over a period of several days, even weeks.

There was a claim that the CB came from both meat and chicken. Along with the dramatically different levels, this implies that this was not just a single sample of meat from a single supplier, but a systemic, ongoing problem.

No hair tests AFAIK.

Though Mexico is known to have a contamination problem, the FMF said the players did not exhibit any negligence.

The players were cleared seven weeks after the initial positives were announced.

Not being able to obtain the details of the hearing, I see two possibilities here, not necessarily mutually exclusive:

1) the FMF wanted to clear the players, and took advantage of the known problem with meat contamination in Mexico to rubber stamp their claim, without doing the kind of rigorous investigation that would be needed to substantiate it. I.e., we know that some meat in Mexico is contaminated, so it's possible the players ate contaminated meat, so this is what we will conclude.

2) In the course of investigating the positives, the FMF uncovered evidence of extensive meat contamination in Mexico--evidence that would have made it clear that a large portion of the public, including tourists, are at risk--and though this isn't really news, didn't want to publicize that problem any further. Note that shortly after the positives were announced, the President and other public officials initially denied that there was any contamination problem in Mexico, then without really explaining the discrepancy, came to accept the players' claim.
 
May 23, 2011
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Merckx index said:
2) In the course of investigating the positives, the FMF uncovered evidence of extensive meat contamination in Mexico--evidence that would have made it clear that a large portion of the public, including tourists, are at risk--and though this isn't really news, didn't want to publicize that problem any further. Note that shortly after the positives were announced, the President and other public officials initially denied that there was any contamination problem in Mexico, then without really explaining the discrepancy, came to accept the players' claim.

The tourists have more important things to worry about than a little contaminated meat, like being decapitated.
 
I can only dedicate this post to the late swordsman, who would of course have been very interested in this story:

The World Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday it will challenge the Mexico Football Federation for clearing five players of doping after accepting that contaminated meat caused their positive tests for clenbuterol.

WADA said it had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and would not comment further.

The Mexico case is WADA’s second high-profile challenge to a legal defense of eating tainted meat.

WADA and the International Cycling Union appealed to CAS after 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador blamed contaminated steak for his clenbuterol positive, and was exonerated by the Spanish cycling federation. That case is scheduled to be heard in November.

The five Mexico players tested positive for the banned anabolic agent at a May training camp before the Gold Cup.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Edgar Duenas and Francisco Rodriguez, and midfielders Antonio Naelson and Christian Bermudez missed the tournament but were not punished.

The World Anti-Doping Code typically requires suspensions of up to two years for first-time offenses, or four years in cases of systematic doping programs.

CAS has not set a date for the hearing.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter backed Mexican officials’ decision to excuse their players, saying “it’s definitely a case of food contamination.”

Mexico President Felipe Calderon has acknowledged that contamination with clenbuterol is a problem in the country, where it is used to bulk up livestock.

Clenbuterol is banned for use on animals in Europe.

http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ap-wada-mexico-doping

As I said when theswordsman posted the results of the CB tests on these players, the values were suspiciously high, much higher than Bert's, which meant the meat had to be contaminated to an uncommonly high level. In one case, we are talking about meat with CB at a level nearly high enough to cause a serious food poisoning epidemic. For reference, here are the values of the original five, as reported here by theswordsman in another thread, the original thread here on this case:

ESPN got their hands on the levels for the 5 soccer players. A nanogram = 1000 picograms. Contador was at 50 picograms, which was 1/40th of the lab testing standard of 2000 picograms. All had much higher levels than Alberto, but four would not have been positive at most labs.

http://www.record.com.mx/verano-tric...-seleccionados

Quote:
Christian "Hobbit" Bermudez: 0.6 ng / mL
Edgar Dueñas: 0.8 ng / mL
Guillermo Ochoa: 1.1 ng / mL
Francisco Javier Rodriguez: 1.3 ng / mL
Antonio Naelson 'Sinha': 4.2 ng / mL
In picograms per milliliter:
600
800
1100
1300
4200

Have fun

I think this appeal is particularly significant in that it shows that WADA will not let a positive slide just because the athlete happened to be in Mexico or some other country where contaminated meat is fairly common. I won't make predictions on the outcome, but I strongly suspect these guys are guilty. In comparison to Bert's case, they do have the Mexico excuse, which I regard as the single most powerful factor in these cases. OTOH, their values are very high, and presumably they don't have a negative test the day before the positive test, as Bert did. Recall that WADA calculated that for Bert to test at 50 pg/ml, the meat would have to be at least 3x over the maximally allowed standard of CB contamination. So the guy testing at 4200 would have to have eaten meat at least 250 times the Euro standard, which even in Mexico is pretty uncommon (a study I discussed in another thread tested fifty samples of meat bought off the street in Mexico; none of them came close to this level of contamination). As I discussed previously, another strike against them is that the values are fairly divergent, at least for one of the players compared to the others. If they ate contaminated meat at the same meal, and were tested at the same time following the meal, one would not expect a 7-fold difference, even allowing for individual differences in amount consumed and kinetics. It remains to be seen if there are other athletes coming forward who ate the same meat and did not test positive.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Merckx index said:
I can only dedicate this post to the late swordsman, who would of course have been very interested in this story:



http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ap-wada-mexico-doping

As I said when theswordsman posted the results of the CB tests on these players, the values were suspiciously high, much higher than Bert's, which meant the meat had to be contaminated to an uncommonly high level. In one case, we are talking about meat with CB at a level nearly high enough to cause a serious food poisoning epidemic. For reference, here are the values of the original five, as reported here by theswordsman in another thread, the original thread here on this case:



I think this appeal is particularly significant in that it shows that WADA will not let a positive slide just because the athlete happened to be in Mexico or some other country where contaminated meat is fairly common. I won't make predictions on the outcome, but I strongly suspect these guys are guilty. In comparison to Bert's case, they do have the Mexico excuse, which I regard as the single most powerful factor in these cases. OTOH, their values are very high, and presumably they don't have a negative test the day before the positive test, as Bert did. Recall that WADA calculated that for Bert to test at 50 pg/ml, the meat would have to be at least 3x over the maximally allowed standard of CB contamination. So the guy testing at 4200 would have to have eaten meat at least 250 times the Euro standard, which even in Mexico is pretty uncommon (a study I discussed in another thread tested fifty samples of meat bought off the street in Mexico; none of them came close to this level of contamination). As I discussed previously, another strike against them is that the values are fairly divergent, at least for one of the players compared to the others. If they ate contaminated meat at the same meal, and were tested at the same time following the meal, one would not expect a 7-fold difference, even allowing for individual differences in amount consumed and kinetics. It remains to be seen if there are other athletes coming forward who ate the same meat and did not test positive.

interesting developments.
indeed, 250 times is alot.
And you're forgetting the hairtest.
Ovcharov did one, it came out negative, and he was sure to yell it off the friggin rooftops, because it proofs his innocence in quite an unambiguous, compelling, and straightforward fashion. WADA only appealed his case initially, but never pulled through, probably due to the hairtest.
Likely we will never hear about a hairtest in the case of the Mexican players.

p.s. what's up with the swordsman? is he ok?
 
FMF hangs tough:

“In our matter, it’s a clear case of contamination,” Mexico secretary general Decio De Maria said. “The facts in our country support this.”

...De Maria, citing Mexican health officials, said 66.7 percent of blood and urine samples taken from cattle showed positive results.

“Clenbuterol contamination in beef is getting more frequent,” De Maria said. “This is what happened and why there were no sanctions. It is going to be a long, expensive case, but we are certain our decision was correct faced with contamination like this. This is an accident and it should not be punished under the doping code.”

There is a least one similarity of this case to Bert's. The accused have the back of the President:

Mexico President Felipe Calderon has acknowledged that contamination with clenbuterol is a problem in the country, where it is used to bulk up livestock.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport.../08/23/gIQAwZCtYJ_story.html?wprss=rss_sports

WADA may have appealed just to clarify that CB contamination really is that bad in Mexico. But as I noted in a previous post, the levels these guys tested at would require very heavily contaminated meat. From what has come out so far, it appears that the meat has not been produced, nor traced to a source of known contamination. That is also consistent with DeMaria's statement. If that's the case, the players are going to have to argue that the meat they ate was a 1/1000 or 1/10,000 chance.

I ask again, why don't they do some testing of the general population? The statement that 2/3 of blood and urine samples tested positive doesn't mean much unless one knows positive at what level. Most meat that passes the Euro standard probably tests positive using a sensitive enough test. Also, if the tests of blood and urine are of cattle before slaughter, they may not have much relevance to the level of CB in the meat, since the cattle are generally allowed to withdraw from the drug prior to slaughter. Given they don't have the actual meat samples eaten, the question is, what % of meat in Mexico is contaminated with CB at a level high enough to produce these positives? I think WADA will show it is very small.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Merckx index said:
FMF hangs tough:



There is a least one similarity of this case to Bert's. The accused have the back of the President:



http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport.../08/23/gIQAwZCtYJ_story.html?wprss=rss_sports

WADA may have appealed just to clarify that CB contamination really is that bad in Mexico. But as I noted in a previous post, the levels these guys tested at would require very heavily contaminated meat. From what has come out so far, it appears that the meat has not been produced, nor traced to a source of known contamination. That is also consistent with DeMaria's statement. If that's the case, the players are going to have to argue that the meat they ate was a 1/1000 or 1/10,000 chance.

I ask again, why don't they do some testing of the general population? The statement that 2/3 of blood and urine samples tested positive doesn't mean much unless one knows positive at what level. Most meat that passes the Euro standard probably tests positive using a sensitive enough test. Also, if the tests of blood and urine are of cattle before slaughter, they may not have much relevance to the level of CB in the meat, since the cattle are generally allowed to withdraw from the drug prior to slaughter. Given they don't have the actual meat samples eaten, the question is, what % of meat in Mexico is contaminated with CB at a level high enough to produce these positives? I think WADA will show it is very small.

To be sure, if it wasn't food contamination, we're looking at a doping program apparently designed especially for the national team's preparation for this Gold Cup tournament.

It would be interesting to know how long the mexican players were in team-preparation together before the tournament started, to know whether there would have been enough time for such a national-squad-doping-program-including-CLEN to be carried, i.e. whether deliberately administering CLEN would make sense in that time span.
 
WADA has subsequently received compelling evidence from a FIFA study at the U17 World Cup in Mexico that indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol. This is a public health issue that is now being addressed urgently by the Mexican Government.

Wow, sounds as though they traced the origin of meat, at least far enough to draw a reasonable conclusion that it was heavily contaminated. As I noted here before, one of the players had a very high level of CB, and I said at the time if that level was caused by contaminated meat, the degree of contamination was near levels that cause serious health problems. Still, there is the fact that the others all had much lower levels.

This should not affect Bert's case, in fact, in a way this is bad news. It shows that WADA is willing to change its mind even ahead of a hearing if there is reasonable evidence of contamination. I bet Colo is a little upset, though.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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BroDeal said:
You have to love their advice to eat in "large numbers" so when you test positive by accident you'll have others who can be tested. Woe unto the poor bastard whose meat was contaminated but ate alone, and WADA acknowledges that.
just to remind for the n-th time..

the acquittal of ovcharov was also largely based on testing his team mates 1 day after he was tested and............their urine clen showed negative at first.

the poor chap thought he was done but then no less than werner franke - the very same antidoping crusader who is still pestering ullrich - suggested a way out.

he contacted 2 prominent german colleagues of his, both are current heads of wada labs in germany, who re-tested the ovcharov's mates samples that were initially negative. they re-tested them with the super sensitive NOT certified method. and voila, they find miniscule clen traces...

why am i dwelling on this again ?

to show how chancy the whole business is and how one can be guilty or innocent quite apart from what one actually did.

yes brodeal you have a point.

as to why different athletes show different concentrations it's really not a brainer. biochemical individuality is part of the answer, athletes are rarely identical twins... besides who said they must eat equal portions. not to account for other laboratory factors.

in the specific case of mexican footballers there is also some evidence that unlike the nielsen/colo case, the players may have eaten on different days though all were tested on the same day...

but of course who has the time to dwell on details... it's much easier to follow own gut
 
python said:
as to why different athletes show different concentrations it's really not a brainer. biochemical individuality is part of the answer, athletes are rarely identical twins... besides who said they must eat equal portions. not to account for other laboratory factors.
Plus I'd imagine the meat they ate came from different animals. I doubt they chose one to be slaughtered on the spot.
 
Jan 25, 2010
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I think they have to let Contador go free.

This case of the mexican players is just good precedent to give Contador the same pass.

Else, who is going to launch a killer attack from km 9 like real men used to do ?

Will we be seeing only cowards and cautious mofos (schlecks, evans et al) climbing up the mountains next year ? That would suck big time