Mexican World Cup players have been banned from eating beef in an effort to avoid meat contaminated with performance-enhancing clenbuterol, which produces positive doping tests in humans.
The Associated Press reported via USA Today
that Coach Miguel Herrera gave the order more than a month ago after having experienced problems with the tests in past years.
"Our training center has determined, based on what happened in the past, that red meat shouldn't be eaten," he said in a statement.
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Clenbuterol is sometimes out of the system within three or four days of eating the meat, but Herrera said he doesn't want to take any chances. He also said the team chef is ramping up the menu to replace the prohibited meat.
In 2011, during the Gold Cup, the muscle-building drug was detected in the tests of five players. They were eventually cleared by The World Anti-Doping Agency and The Mexican Football Federation after the link between red meat and clenbuterol was established. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Francisco Rodriguez were among the five in question, and they also have spots on the team this time around too, The Daily Mail reported
"I ate a few tacos, but I hope there is no problem. From now on I'll follow what's been requested," said defender Miguel Ponce, who recently replaced injured midfielder Juan Carlos Medina.
Mexico's first match of the tournament kicks off June 13 against Cameroon, followed by Brazil on June 17, and Croatia on June 23. They will play warm-up games against Israel, Ecuador, Bosnia, and Portugal beforehand.
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