North Korean Soccer Team Tests Positive for Steroids After Being Struck by Lightning

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Five members of the North Korean soccer team (Korea DPR) have tested positive for 14 different banned anabolic steroids at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany. The North Korean delegation told FIFA that a “lightning strike” was responsible for the positive steroid tests. The five players were reportedly struck by lightning while training in North Korea on June 8, 2011. A traditional Chinese medicine containing an extract from the hairy gland of an Asian musk deer was used to treat the players for the effects of the lightning strike. Photographic proof of the lightning strike was provided to FIFA.

Fifa’s chief medical officer Professor Jiri Dvorak said the Koreans claim the banned steroids come from a chinese remedy, which includes an extract from the gland of the musk deer.

The remedy was administered to the players by the team doctor after several players were hit by a lightning strike on June 8 at their training camp in North Korea, which led to several players being hospitalised.

Dvorak said Fifa had been shown pictures by North Korean officials of the after-effects of the lightning strike and players being taken to hospital.

He added the North Korean team doctor had helped Fifa by handing over a sample of the remedy given to the players and in total the same 14 steroids, not all of them anabolic, were found in both the deer gland and in samples from the five players.

Jong Sun Song and Sim Pok Jong received an adverse analytical finding for undisclosed anabolic steroids. The two positive steroid test results trigger a FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations requirement that their entire team be targeted for additional anti-doping testing during the competition. Consequently, the entire Korea DPR team was test by FIFA in coordination with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Three additional adverse analytic findings were obtained during targeted testing. The “A” and “B” samples for all five athletes tested positive for the presence of prohibited anabolic steroids. The names of the three other athletes testing positive for anabolic steroids have not yet been public disclosed.

The 5 steroid positives at the 2001 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent the biggest World Cup doping scandal since the 1994 FIFA World Cup when Maradonna tested positive for banned stimulants.

Photo credit: ergates


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