With CONMEBOL clubs competing in Copa Libertadores against Mexico opposition, the confederation's chief doctor has warned players from eating red meat for fear of ingesting the banned substance clenbuterol.
Dr. Osvaldo Pangrazio wrote a letter that the confederation made public on Monday in which he implores teams playing against Mexican competition–Gremio, LDU Quito and San Lorenzo and Emelec, Deportivo Tachira and Olimpia are in groups with Toluca and Pumas UNAM, respectively–to hold off from eating red meat when playing in Mexico to steer clear of the substance that is banned by FIFA, CONMEBOL and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
If clenbuterol and Mexican meat sounds familiar, it should. During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, five Mexican players tested positive for the substance, with the Mexican federation claiming it was because of tainted meat. Over 100 players at the 2011 U-17 World Cup in Mexico tested positive for the substance, too.
Two more unnamed players tested positive for the substance in 2013 but were cleared after its presence was traced to tainted meat as well. In 2010, Spanish cycling star Alberto Contador was banned two years for testing positive for the substance, and he, too, claimed it was ingested while eating bad meat.