Just one match into their Gold Cup campaign, Mexico are already playing from behind. In fact, they are six behind after the Mexican Football Federation announced that six players have been removed from the team after positive doping tests. Fransisco 'Maza' Rodriguez, Guillermo 'Memo' Ochoa, Edgar Dueñas, Sinha, Ricardo Osorio and Christian 'Hobbit' Bermudez all tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.
The FMF has said that they believe the positive test was a result of tainted chicken or meat consumed between May 17 and May 20. If true, that would help the players' case because it would not be a result of intentional doping, but it would not exonerate the six.
The positive test for Osorio will not impact the team because he had already returned to Mexico to receive treatment for an illness, but the other five will all step away from the team while the matter is investigated further and any appeals process plays out. This leaves the team with just 17 players for tonight's Gold Cup match against Cuba and may leave them short on players for the remainder of the tournament if CONCACAF does not grant them a special exemption to add players to their roster.
Because the test was conducted by the FMF and not as part of the competition there is no threat of Mexico having to forfeit their 5-0 win over El Salvador that opened Gold Cup play. The players are facing a one-year suspension if the positive tests are upheld.
For more on this developing story and on Mexican football, visit SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.