Banned drug found in U17 World Cup players

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Banned drug found in U17 World Cup players

GENEVA - A majority of the players tested at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico had traces of clenbuterol in their bodies because they ate contaminated meat, FIFA said on Monday.

Tests in Germany after the tournament revealed players from 19 of the 24 teams had traces of the banned anabolic agent in 109 of 208 urine samples.

FIFA medical officer Jiri Dvorak called the results “highly surprising’’ but insisted that the teenage footballers were not cheating.

“It is not a problem of doping, but a problem of public health,’’ Dvorak told reporters, adding that none of the players were harmed or put in any danger.

FIFA and the World Anti-Doping Agency declined to prosecute any cases because the weight of evidence pointed to contamination.

Mexican authorities have acknowledged the country has issues with feeding banned steroids to livestock.

“It’s extremely serious for WADA,’’ Olivier Niggli, the antidoping watchdog’s legal director, said in a conference call. “Now it’s known it’s an issue, warnings are going to be sent.’’

With Mexico currently hosting the two-week Pan American Games in Guadalajara, athletes have been advised to eat only in designated cafeterias.

Dvorak said FIFA would not identify the players or teams involved in the positive tests at the tournament played in seven cities in June and July

Mexico’s players, however, who won the tournament were pronounced as all testing clean because they were switched to a fish and vegetables diet before the competition, Dvorak said.

Team management took those precautions when five of Mexico’s senior squad were suspended for testing positive for clenbuterol at a training camp for the Gold Cup.

WADA wanted those players banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but dropped their appeals last week when new FIFA evidence suggested the Mexico Football Federation was right to exonerate them.

“Since day one we knew the players were innocent and we are happy with this result,’’ Justino Compean, the Mexican Football Federation president, said Monday.

The Mexican cases have confused the legal certainty of prosecuting athletes who test positive for clenbuterol - notably three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

Contador had minute traces of clenbuterol in samples taken during his 2010 Tour victory, and will face WADA and the International Cycling Union in a landmark case at CAS next month with his title and integrity at stake.

The Spanish rider claims contaminated beef that was bought from a butcher in his native country was responsible for his failed doping tests.

Niggli declined to draw comparisons between football and cycling cases, or Mexico and elsewhere.

“I don’t think we can generalize from what is happening in one specific country,’’ Niggli said, but acknowledged that China also had issues with livestock being fed banned drugs to improve the quality of meat.

“It is an illusion to say Mexico is the only country, but definitely there is a big difference depending where you are coming from,’’ the WADA lawyer said.

Dvorak said FIFA had “no indications’’ of contamination problems in Spain or other countries.


한글 관련 기사 [연합뉴스]

U-17축구 월드컵서 109명 금지약물 양성반응

천식치료제 클렌부테롤 검출.."도핑 아니라 공중보건 문제" 면책될 듯

올해 국제축구연맹(FIFA) 17세 이하 월드컵에서 무려 100건이 넘는 금지약물 비정상 반응이 나왔다.

그러나 FIFA와 세계반도핑기구(WADA)는 도핑이 아니라 공중보건의 문제로 불거진 사태로 보고 해당 선수들을 제재하지 않을 방침이다.

18일 FIFA에 따르면 지난 6∼7월 멕시코에서 열린 대회에서 테스트를 받은 208명 가운데 109명이 WADA가 엄격히 금지하는 클렌부테롤에 양성반응을 보였다.

국가별로 따지면 24개 출전국 가운데 19개국에서 금지약물 양성반응자가 나왔다.

클렌부테롤은 기관지를 확장하는 천식 치료제로 돼지고기나 소고기 같은 육류를 섭취하는 과정에서 체내에 들어갈 수 있다.

가축의 지방을 연소하고 살코기를 늘리는 효과가 있는 까닭에 축산 농가에서 사료에 몰래 섞기 때문이다.

지리 드보락 FIFA 미디어담당관은 "도핑이 아니라 공중보건의 문제"라고 말해 적발된 청소년 선수들을 제재하지 않겠다는 방침을 밝혔다.

WADA는 최근 북중미 골드컵 축구대회를 앞두고 클렌부테롤 양성반응을 보인 멕시코 국가대표 6명에 대한 스포츠중재재판소(CAS) 제소를 철회해 FIFA의 이 같은 입장을 지지하고 나섰다.

FIFA와 멕시코축구협회가 양성반응이 음식 오염 탓이라며 해당 선수들에게 책임을 묻지 않기로 하자 WADA가 반발해 제기한 소송이었다.

WADA는 범태평양 대회처럼 멕시코에서 열리는 대회에 출전하는 선수들은 음식물에 특별히 주의하라고 당부했다.

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