As most of you already know, Mexico is immersed in a war or crackdown against drug cartels and illegal substances smugglers, launched by the current administration. This so called war has claimed the lives of over 50,000.
Of course, the sports world can’t remain unscathed from an issue of such magnitude. As it turns out, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has acknowledged the existence of a public health problem in Mexico because of the massive contamination of meat, with an illegal substance called clenbuterol which is used by athletes and sportspeople as a performance-enhancing drug. In the veterinary field, this illegal substance has been used for increasing the lean yield of livestock.
FIFA found out about this public health issue after more than 100 footballers tested positive for the banned substance during the Under-17 world championship held in Mexico last summer. Actually over 52% of the players submitted to the anti-doping controls showed traces of clenbuterol, however, the players of the Mexican team (who won the tournament in the final match against Uruguay) tested negative because they had stuck to a fish and vegetables regime.
This is a concern related to public health, that’s why we decided we are ethically obliged to inform the public about the entire situation to be transparent and open on the appropriate actions which may be done in other countries aside from Mexico: Jiri Dvorak (FIFA medical officer).
There is no doubt in our mind it’s a serious health issue in Mexico with regard to meat contaminated with clenbuterol: Olivier Niggli (World Anti-Doping Agency).
Nevertheless, unlike FIFA and WADA authorities, Mexican officials have chosen not to be transparent and deny any allegations on the matter. Salomon Chertorivski, head of the Secretaría de Salud (Ministry of Health) ruled out the alert for the meat contamination in the country [es] and assured there is not a problem with the substance. Mikel Arriola (Commissioner for the Protection against Health Risks) stated the FIFA has not shown evidence of the 109 players who tested positive in the anti-doping controls during the tournament held in Mexico [es].
It is only prudent to remember the FIFA is an association headquartered in Switzerland, with over 208 member associations (three more than the International Olympic Committee). It is the international governing body of the world’s most popular sport and the statements made by any of its officials should not be taken lightly. On the other hand, according to the Corruption Perception Index 2010 by Transparency International, Mexico should be regarded as a highly corrupt country.
We’re all stars now, in the dope show!: Marilyn Manson.
October 19th, 2011.
 With a score of 3.1 out of 10 possible points (10 being the highest score for a highly clean country).