NFL warns players: Eating too much meat in China or Mexico could lead to positive drug tests

NFL players can't say they haven't been warned.

If any of them happen to test positive for the drug clenbuterol after eating lots of meat in China or Mexico, well, that's on them.

The league and its players association said so in a memo sent to players on Wednesday, warning them against "consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries."

The memo states that clenbuterol, which is banned by the NFL as a performance-enhancing substance, has been found in some meat produced in China and Mexico.

"Players are warned to be aware of this issue when traveling to Mexico and China," the memo states. "Please take caution if you decide to consume meat, and understand that you do so at your own risk."

The timing of the memo is also a little odd, considering several Oakland Raiders players were in Mexico City last weekend taking part in a fan fest as part of the festivities surrounding the NFL draft.

Clenbuterol is banned in Mexico and China, as well as the U.S. and several other countries. But apparently not all meat providers are adhering to such laws.

Last season, Houston left tackle Duane Brown tested positive for the substance after spending the Texans' bye week in Mexico. After producing receipts to show he ate 10 hamburgers and two steaks during the trip, Brown avoided being suspended by the league.

Back in 2011, Mexico's soccer federation determined that five national players tested positive for clenbuterol because of contaminated meat. The same year, FIFA said traces of the substance were found in most players tested during the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.

The Texans are scheduled to play the Raiders in Mexico City on Nov. 21. The Rams are expected to play a game in China during the 2018 season.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World