The five suspended Mexico national team players took another test on June 10, one day after it was revealed that they’d tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in a test administered on May 21.
Keep that last part in mind: The original test was conducted on May 21, meaning they had traces of clenbuterol in their systems on May 21.
On June 10, according to the results announced yesterday, they did not.
What does this prove? Only what we said in the header above.
How does it exonerate them? It doesn’t—except in the realm of public (and widespread journalistic) perception.
We don’t mean to flog a dead horse (or cow, or chicken), but this story is fading—and the “beef” excuse is being accepted—way too easily.
Immediately after the tainted beef excuse was offered, Mexico’s department of agriculture cried foul (fowl?), saying that cases of contamination were one in a million. One in a million—yet here were five in a row.
Beyond that, whenever there are cases of contamination—which, again, are one in a million—the persons involved become sick, suffering “headache, palpitations, nervousness, and fluctuating blood pressure rates.”
We never heard about the Mexican players getting sick.
This article in The Miami Herald, which suggests that clenbuterol contamination is a widespread problem with Mexican beef, states that “those sickened by tainted meat are usually those who buy organ meat, mainly liver, at markets and cook it at home.”
Did the suspended players dine on liver? Never heard that part of the story either.
No, this “second test” at UCLA was strictly a PR move, designed to produce the appearance of innocence. And it’s working.
Put it this way: If you got clocked going over the limit in Tijuana, but slowed down in time for that speed trap you knew about in San Diego, it doesn’t mean you weren’t speeding in Tijuana.
This story won’t truly move forward until the “B” sample of the original (May 21) test comes back—which is expected to happen this week.
As SB Nation wrote yesterday:
The players have now requested [the results of the] “B” test of the initial samples from May 21st that started this controversy. Despite the results of the new test, the five players remain out of the Gold Cup until the results on “B” sample test come back. A clean “B” sample likely means immediate reinstatement for the players, while another positive will likely force the FMF to continue their investigation.
If those “B” samples come back negative, we’ll lay off (we promise) and stay silent on the issue as El Tri cruises to the Gold Cup title, which they seem very likely to do at the moment, having romped through group play with a 14-1 goal difference.
But if they’re positive, then that means the original tests were accurate, and an independent body needs to investigate—not the Mexican Soccer Federation.