Following a soccer match in Houston Wednesday night between the national teams of Mexico and Honduras, the head of the world football association (FIFA), Joseph S. Blatter, made some startling remarks.
He said the five players on the Mexican national soccer team who were suspended June 9 after testing positive for a banned steroid, clenbuterol, weren’t the only ones on the team who showed signs of ingesting the substance.
According to press reports like this one, Blatter told ESPN after the game that since other team players also tested for the substance “then definitely it was the food. They talk about the meat.”
Following the scandal, I traveled up to a cattle-raising area of Mexico and wrote this story about how hundreds of people fall ill each year after eating steroid-tainted beef. The practice appears geographically widespread, given press reports of where people have been hospitalized.
In any case, Blatter’s remarks appear to have been too much for FIFA’s media office which promptly issued a statement, reported here, that Blatter wasn’t referring to actual teammates of the five suspended players on the Mexican squad but Mexican athletes in general.
This makes no sense to me. But I cannot find the FIFA statement on the association’s website nor can I find the video of the ESPN interview.
In any case, if Blatter thinks more Mexican athletes are testing positive for doping and that it “definitely” comes from steroid-tainted meat, then anyone who eats beef in Mexico might have reason for concern.