WADA withdraws appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against Mexican football players
Five Mexican footballers were tested positive for clenbuterol in the preparation phase of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June 2011. The Mexican Football Association did not suspend the players as it was found, based on evidence gathered, that the positive samples were the result of meat the players had ingested at a training camp ahead of the tournament. WADA then lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and asked the players to be suspended for two years. FIFA together with the Mexican Football Association conducted additional studies which showed that there is a public health issue in Mexico on the use of clenbuterol in the meat industry. WADA finally withdrew the appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport which results that the players are not suspended.
Volker Hesse who was leading a team of international lawyers defending the interests of the players and the Mexican FA said: “The anti-doping rules are very severe for the players which, on the one side, is necessary for a comprehensive fight against doping. On the other side, once athletes are charged with an anti-doping rule violation based on a positive doping control, their whole career is at stake and it is very difficult to prove that they are innocent even if they didn’t do anything, but to eat a piece of contaminated meat like it happened in this case. I am glad to see that justice has been done in this matter.”