Blatter backs Mexico leniency over doping

PACHUCA - FIFA President Sepp Blatter has supported the Mexican Football Federation's (FMF) decision not to punish five Mexico players who tested positive for clenbuterol in May.

FMF disciplinary chief Alfonso Sabater said on Friday the body would not sanction the players because they had ingested the banned substance accidentally by eating tainted meat.

"We're totally in agreement with the decision taken, we've contacted WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)... we have a copy of the report," Blatter told a news conference in Pachuca on Saturday.

"It's definitely a case of food contamination and it's a warning for everyone," said Blatter, who is in Mexico for Sunday's final of the Under-17 World Cup between the host country and Uruguay.

The players - goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Francisco Rodriguez and Edgar Duenas and midfielders Antonio Naelson 'Sinha' and Christian Bermudez - were booted out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June after failing doping tests conducted at Mexico's national team training base on May 21.

Four more players later showed traces of the banned substance in their system although below the threshold for testing positive.

Clenbuterol can be used to speed up and increase muscle mass in animals and FMF officials said the federation would start buying meat from a new supplier.

An expected deal for Ochoa to join promoted French Ligue 1 side Ajaccio was put on hold last month over the scandal.

Mexico went on to retain the Gold Cup beating hosts United States 4-2 in the final.


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