Mexican quintet cleared of doping

The Mexican Football Federation has cleared the five players banned after testing positive for clenbuterol prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.Antonio Naelson, Christian Bermudez, Edgar Duenas, Francisco Rodriguez and Guillermo Ochoa were suspended when they tested positive for the banned substance at a pre-tournament training camp in May.

Following an investigation by the federation’s disciplinary committee, the adverse findings were attributed to food contamination.

“The players took all necessary precautions to avoid ingestion or consumption of the prohibited substance,” the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) said in a statement.

“According to Article 47 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, the players explained how the prohibited substance entered his body and there was no culpable or negligent conduct on his part in the ingestion of that substance.”

“There should be no application of a period of suspension.”

Clenbuterol can be used to artificially increase muscle mass in animals.

The FMF contends the players ate contaminated chicken and beef during a training camp in Mexico City and will be changing their meat supplier in the future.

Mexico defeated the United States 4-2 in the Gold Cup final last month to retain the trophy.

The players’ case is similar to that of three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

A sample provided by the cyclist during last year’s Tour tested positive for trace amounts of clentuberol, but he was later cleared by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) after successfully arguing the substance entered his body through contaminated food.

The RFEC’s decision to exonerate Contador is the subject of an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport by the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency.