Over half of World Cup under-17s fail drugs test

More than 100 players at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico this summer tested positive for banned drug clenbuterol due to contaminated meat, the world governing body has revealed.

FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak revealed last night that players from 19 of the 24 squads involved, in roughly equal numbers, had shown traces of the substance after analysis of urine samples.

However, Dvorak insisted there had been no harm to the players exposed to the contaminated food in June.

Dvorak would not say whether England's Under-17 squad was one of those involved.

He said: "FIFA was very alarmed and it was highly surprising to see something like this - I had not seen anything like it in my 20 years in this post.

"My first question was, 'Could any harm have been done to the players?' and I was assured by the different medical specialists the answer is no."

Dvorak said that as early as April the German anti-doping organisation had issued a warning that athletes should exercise caution in Mexico and China because of adverse analytical findings due to meat contamination.

FIFA ordered meat samples to be collected from team hotels and 30% of these showed the presence of clenbuterol.

The Mexican government have made a number of arrests and closed down several slaughterhouses in recent weeks after being alerted to the issue, according to Mikel Arriola, an official from Mexico's health ministry.

Mexico's victorious Under-17 team did not have a single adverse finding; after the positive tests for the senior players they were only allowed to eat fish and vegetables.

Positive tests for five players from the senior Mexico squad had alerted FIFA to a possible issue, and when four more positive tests emerged from the youth tournament the governing body decided to reanalyse all the 208 urine samples taken.

A laboratory in Cologne discovered the presence of the steroid in 109 of those samples - 52.4%.

Clenbuterol is banned in farming in most countries but is used to speed up growth and increase muscle mass in cattle.

In cycling, Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport claiming his positive doping test for clenbuterol is due to a contaminated steak from a butcher in Spain.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test