The Mexican soccer federation (FMF) has announced two players tested positive for a banned substance in the first round of matches of the Apertura season.
The press release stated that the disciplinary process against the players is underway according to league rules, but that the names of the players won’t be released until the case has been resolved. League president Decio de Maria stated that the players had traces of clenbuterol, which can be found in meat, but has also been used as a performance-enhancing drug.
Five players from El Tri were found to have clenbuterol in their bloodstream ahead of the 2011 Gold Cup, but were later cleared when it was linked to consumption of contaminated meat.
FIFA also raised concerns after the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico, when it reported 109 of the 298 players tested during the competition tested positive for clenbuterol.
As has widely been reported by Mexican press, the teams that were tested in the first week of matches were Cruz Azul, Morelia, Queretaro and Monterrey. Mexico international Jesus Corona and Manuel Marin were tested from Cruz Azul; Fernando Silva and Ferando Zarate from Morelia; Omar Arellano and Luis Madrigal from Monterrey, as well as Amaury Escoto and Marco Jiménez from Queretaro.
The issue of doping in the Mexican game recently came to the forefront when former Monterrey goalkeeper Omar “Gato” Ortiz claimed last month – from prison where he is serving time for kidnap-related offenses – he took anabolic steroids regularly and passed the Mexican federation tests before a CONMEBOL test highlighted the substance and he was banned for two years in 2010.