MEXICO CITY - Five Mexico players who tested positive for clenbuterol will not be punished by the country's football association because they ingested the banned substance accidentally eating tainted meat, officials said.
"No sanctions will be applied," Mexican Football Federation (FMF) disciplinary chief Alfonso Sabater told reporters on Friday. "The failed test was due to contaminated food."
The players were booted out of the Gold Cup in June after failing doping tests conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles.
Clenbuterol can be used to speed up and increase muscle mass in animals.
FMF officials said the federation, which contends the players all ate contaminated beef during a training camp in Mexico City, would start buying meat from a new supplier.
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Francisco Rodriguez and Edgar Duenas and midfielders Antonio Naelson 'Sinha' and Christian Bermudez failed the drug tests taken on May 21.
Four more players later showed traces of the banned substance in their system.
An expected deal for Ochoa to join promoted French Ligue 1 side Ajaccio was put on hold last month over the doping scandal.
Mexico went on to retain the Gold Cup beating hosts United States 4-2 in the final.comments