Swedish amateur Mathias Eggenberger has undoubtedly heard countless jokes about his last name and the culinary arts, but it was no laughing matter when a meal got him retroactively disqualified from the 2016 World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico.
Being held in Riviera Mayo and run by the International Golf Federation, participants knew the kind of anti-doping testing they would be subject to, however, they didn’t know a nice meal could cost them their eligibility.
His offense? Eating “contaminated meat” containing low levels of clenbuterol, a banned substance.
Although the investigation into the incident concluded that Eggenberger was guilty of “no fault or negligence,” the IGF nonetheless disqualified Eggenberger’s individual competition results and penalized Switzerland’s team.
“Under [the policy], the mere presence of clenbuterol in a player’s body, even absent fault or negligence and regardless of the reason, constitutes a violation,” stated the IGF in a release announcing its decision. “The matter is therefore closed and the IGF will have no further comments on the sanction.”
Golfer Disqualified for Meat-Related Doping Swiss golfer Mathias Eggenberger was retroactively disqualified from t… https://t.co/z1xNc48iLW
— Wellness Life (@nature_herbs) February 14, 2017
According to anti-doping officials, clenbuterol is a powerful performance enhancer used by athletes to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat; for those same reasons, it has also been used by ranchers to stimulate growth in livestock, particularly in China and Mexico.
According to the IGF, its investigation of Eggenberger’s “eating patterns” found that while in Mexico he “ate only at restaurants where he was instructed to eat,” so it’s unclear why Eggenberger is being held responsible for the violation.
Eggenberger, for his part, wasn’t eager to rehash the episode and did not respond to specific questions about the sanction.
“I cannot really add anything to the publication of the IGF,” Eggenberger told GOLF.com. “During the World Team Championship in Mexico a doping test showed a minimal contamination with clenbuterol. In Mexico clenbuterol is still used in animal breeding. As other athletes have been tested positive in Mexico in the past on this substance, it became evident that this was also the reason in my case.”
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