Four More Members of El Tri Showed Traces of Clenbuterol

The number of players on Mexico’s Gold Cup–winning team to have shown traces of the banned substance clenbuterol in their bloodstreams has risen to nine, FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak announced yesterday.

In addition to the five players who tested positive “for a relatively high concentration of clenbuterol” and were suspended in June, four other players, whose names were not revealed, produced samples “with traces of the same substance.”

FIFA’s Dvorak said the cases were being examined with further tests at a laboratory in Germany.

Can we all agree that this latest development makes the entire case suspicious, at the very least? We are amazed at how this story is being dismissed, and how the “tainted meat” excuse is being, uh, swallowed, so readily.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: “I ate tainted beef” as an excuse for a positive PED test is on par with “My Twitter account was hacked” as an explanation for all those photos of your junk out in cyberland.

Dvorak seems to be clouding the issue himself, suggesting he was perplexed by the test results and saying it is “difficult for me to imagine that practically a whole team from a developing country such as Mexico” should turn in positive tests.

Really Jiri? Why is that? And since when is Mexico, in soccer terms, a developing country? They’ve played in 14 World Cups, been to two WC quarterfinals, and hosted the event twice.

They are very much a first-world soccer nation—and a proud one none too happy with the rise of their northern neighbors in the past 10 years.

Like any other fierce competitor on the face of the earth, they would look for (and take) an edge wherever they could find it.

We would not be surprised if there’s a simple explanation for the test results.

As the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has gone on the record saying, the risk of tainted meat causing a positive result is remote.

The chances of nine results, out of 14 tested, coming back positive because of “tainted meat”?

If you believe that, we can guess where you stand on O.J. Simpson, Lance Armstrong, and an opportunity to purchase the bridge connecting lower Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn.

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