Mexico Watches Out for Banned Steroid Clenbuterol in Food

April 28, 2016 11:22 AM

Mexico is watching out for the banned steroid clenbuterol — on the dinner plates of its athletes.

Ranchers in Mexico have been known to feed clenbuterol to livestock to help increase meat yields, even though it is prohibited.

Mexico's national sports commission, Conade, said Wednesday that coaches are keeping a special watch on meat supplied to athletes ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games.

"We should be conscious and careful about the kind of meat that is selected" for athletes, said Conade director Alfredo Castillo. He said organic beef, chicken, fish and pork could be explored for somewhat safer alternatives.

The steroid, which boosts metabolism and burns fat, has caused problems for Mexican athletes before. In 2011, five national-team soccer players tested positive and were banned from play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Mexican authorities inspected 200 slaughterhouses in 2015 and found clenbuterol in livestock at 58 of them. Those slaughterhouses were slapped with suspensions.

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