The favorite defense for cyclists caught doping – must have been that Mexican steak – is now being used to warn players in the U.S. National Football League.
FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2010 file photo, steaks and other beef products are displayed for sale at a grocery store in McLean, Va. Americans may not have to cut back on eggs and salt as much as they once thought. And eating lean meat is still OK. But watch the added sugars _ especially the sugary drinks. The Obama administration’s new dietary guidelines, released Jan. 7, 2016, back off the strictest sodium rules included in the last version, while still complaining that Americans consume too much salt. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
The gridiron warriors are being warned about consuming meat produced in China and Mexico that potentially contains clenbuterol, which is banned under the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
The drug-testing program’s independent administrator sent a memo to players, saying “consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries may result in a positive test.”
Clenbuterol is a muscle-building and weight-loss stimulant.
The drug-testing program again advised: “Players are responsible for what is in their bodies.”
The Oakland Raiders will face the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football on Nov. 21 in Mexico City as part of the league’s international series. The Raiders also hosted a fan fest as part of the NFL draft this past Saturday in Mexico City.
Texans left tackle Duane Brown actually tested positive for clenbuterol last season after a bye-week trip to Mexico during which he ate Mexican beef, sources told ESPN.
Perpetually smirking Alberto Contador has been stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory and banned from cycling for two years after the sport’s highest court found the Spanish cyclist guilty of doping.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the three-time Tour champion after rejecting his claim that his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat.
CAS backdated Contador’s ban and he is eligible to return to competition on Aug. 6.
Contador blamed steak bought from a Basque producer for his high reading of clenbuterol, which is sometimes used by farmers to fatten up their livestock.
CAS said both the meat contamination theory and a blood transfusion scenario for the positive test were “possible” but “equally unlikely.”
“The Panel found that there were no established facts that would elevate the possibility of meat contamination to an event that could have occurred on a balance of probabilities,” CAS said. “Unlike certain other countries, notably outside Europe, Spain is not known to have a contamination problem with clenbuterol in meat. Furthermore, no other cases of athletes having tested positive to clenbuterol allegedly in connection with the consumption of Spanish meat are known.”
Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished second at the 2010 Tour, stands to be elevated to victory.
Five Mexican soccer players who tested positive for clenbuterol before the Gold Cup will not face sanctions after FIFA determined the tests were caused by contaminated meat.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday it had dropped its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where it planned to challenge a Mexico Football Federation decision clearing the players of doping.
WADA said it accepted FIFA’s "compelling evidence" from the recent Under-17 World Cup in Mexico that the country has a "serious health problem" with meat contaminated with clenbuterol.
WADA said Mexico’s government has agreed to address the issue of farmers giving steroids to livestock, which is illegal.
"Already several arrests have been made pursuant to these laws and large amounts of clenbuterol seized. Investigations are to continue," WADA said.
German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov tested positive after competing in China, which also has long-standing issues with illegally feeding steroids to livestock.
Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will use the same argument as part of his defense at CAS next month.
Contador’s four-day hearing is scheduled to begin Nov. 21.
For those who care about the doped up world of cycling, the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has found no evidence to support Alberto Contador’s claim that contaminated meat was responsible for his positive doping test.
Sapa-AFP reports the Tour de France champion was provisionally suspended following a positive test for clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug.
The Spanish rider has claimed that the positive result, which followed a doping test during the Tour de France in July, was the result of eating contaminated meat.
But a report by WADA obtained by the newspaper El Pais said its experts visited the butcher’s shop in northern Spain where the meat was purchased and the slaughterhouse that supplies it, and found no evidence of clenbuterol in any of its products.
"None of the inspections, none of the tests on samples of meat found traces of clenbuterol, a banned drug used to fatten cattle quickly," El Pais said.
The report also cited a European Union study from 2008 in which experts tested 300,000 meat samples but found evidence of the possible use of clenbutorol in only one of those.
"Obviously, farmers who cheat will never slaughter their illegally fattened cattle until about 20 days after the last dose of clenbuterol for two reasons: to avoid being caught by checks on the meat and to allow the anabolic steriod to have its full fattening-up effect," the WADA report said, according to El Pais.
If suspended for two years, the 27-year-old has threatened to quit the sport.
Hot off the presses from today’s issue of Cycling News, World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman has dismissed Alberto Contador’s (right, sorta as shown) claims that his positive test for Clenbuterol at this year’s Tour de France was caused by contaminated meat bought in Spain.
Speaking to journalists during a meeting at the WADA headquarters in Montreal, Howman pointed out that the contaminated meat excuse has been used in the past but rejected during anti-doping hearings.
WADA is reportedly monitoring the Contador case very closely and is ready to step in if a disciplinary hearing is not arranged swiftly by the UCI and the Spanish Cycling Federation.
Howman added, "It took a year to set the Landis hearing up the first time around. … At some stage somebody is going to have to say, ‘here is the hearing date’."?