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Mexico Doping Scandal: All Five Banned Players Pass Second Test

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05:  Guillermo Ochoa #1 of Mexico gestures to the referee during the match against El Salvador at the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05: Guillermo Ochoa #1 of Mexico gestures to the referee during the match against El Salvador at the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
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After their removal from the Mexico Gold Cup squad for failing a drug test, all five banned player - Guillermo Ochoa, Christian Bermudez, Edgar Dueñas, Sinha and Fransisco Rodriguez - have passed a second test for the banned substance clenbuterol. All five players have now requested that their backup "B" sample from the original May 21 test be tested after passing the new test.

I'm no scientist, but it seems highly unlikely that the players would test negative for clenbuterol if they were intentionally doping with the substance, then quit taking it within the last month or so. Mexican agriculture officials claim that contamination of meat with clenbuterol is very rare, but based on the players' negative tests just three weeks later, it seems as if they may have caught one such rare case.

It's highly unlikely that the five players in question will return to the Gold Cup squad, but they will probably all settle simply for having their names cleared at this point. 

If the "B" sample tests negative, it seems highly likely that all of the players will be reinstated instantly. If the "B" sample also tests positive for clenbuterol, the players will likely stay suspended while the FMF investigates the possibility of contamination. In a related story, cyclist Alberto Contador tested positive for the same substance, and he also blames contaminated meat. Contador is being allowed to compete during his appeal.