FIFA would like to express its satisfaction with the decision taken by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to withdraw its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding the decision not to sanction five Mexican footballers who tested positive for clenbuterol during the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June 2011.
This announcement by WADA confirms the initial decision taken by the Mexican Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee to clear the players of any wrongdoing, which FIFA completely agreed with and supported after carefully looking at the case. The studies conducted by FIFA showed the correctness of the footballers’ claim that the positive samples were the result of meat they had ingested at a training camp ahead of the tournament.
FIFA would also like to thank WADA for positively considering the studies and research conducted by FIFA in this matter, including compelling evidence from a FIFA study at the U-17 World Cup in Mexico that indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regard to meat contaminated with clenbuterol. FIFA is pleased that these studies have served not only to solve this case, but also to assist the Mexican authorities in their fight to tackle this public health issue, which is now being urgently addressed by the Mexican government.
FIFA will continue to play a leading role in this matter and will work together with the various authorities, including WADA, the Mexican Football Association and the Mexican government on this study, which in future will be conducted as a joint project.
Finally, FIFA and its President Joseph S. Blatter would like to emphasise once again its determination to keep football free of doping. It is FIFA’s duty and will to protect players from harm and ensure that footballers can compete on an even playing field. FIFA’s anti-doping strategy relies on education and prevention, as well as on respect for the dignity and privacy of each player who is subject to testing. FIFA remains fully committed to its anti-doping programme and will endeavour to ensure that it continues to be successful.