Five Mexican footballers who were suspended from the CONCACAF Gold Cup for doping after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol were flown to LA on Friday for more tests.
Mexico won 5-0 over Cuba on Thursday after opening last Sunday with a 5-0 rout of El Salvador. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Francisco Rodriguez and Edgar Duenas and midfielders Antonio "Sinha" Naelson and Christian Bermudez tested positive for the banned muscle-building drug.
Naelson, a Brazil-born playmaker who flew home to his father's funeral in Sao Paolo before joining Mexico for the tournament, commented on the situation.
"Right now, I am angry. The sadness comes later," he told CONCACAF's official website. "You are trying to get up after being knocked down and then you are hit and knocked down again. That is difficult and even more so knowing that you didn't do anything. I didn't commit a crime or make any mistakes. My career will not be tainted for something I didn't do. Everyone knows me. Fourteen years in Mexican football and I've never had a problem."
Ochoa, who has just finished his contract with Mexican side Club America, said on the CONCACAF website that he was shocked by the doping positive. "It was surprising to all of us," Ochoa said. "We don't have anything to hide. We are here to face the issue. We have a clear conscious."
CONCACAF has postponed a meeting of the Gold Cup organising committee to gather additional information on the five players suspended. The Gold Cup's organising committee were set to discuss the suspensions today and also rule on whether Mexico could replace the unavailable players.
However, a statement on the tournament website said that would not be happening as planned today. "A planned meeting of the Gold Cup organising committee to consider the situation of Mexico's five suspended players has been postponed while more information is gathered.
"The committee has asked the Mexican federation to provide more details regarding the doping tests that discovered the banned substance clembuterol in the urine samples of five players taken during a pre-Gold Cup training camp in Mexico in May."
The defending champion Mexicans, who complete group play Sunday at Chicago against Costa Rica, are among 12 CONCACAF nations competing for the North, Central American and Caribbean crown and a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.