CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With news on Thursday that five Mexico players tested positive for the performance enhancing drug clenbuterol, El Salvador head coach Rubén Israel hopes the Salvadoran Soccer Federation takes the necessary action once CONCACAF makes an official decision regarding the fate of the players.
In case CONCACAF finds Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Rodríguez, Édgar Dueñas, Cristián Bermúdez and Antonio Naelson “Sinha” guilty of intentionally consuming clenbuterol, Israel said the Salvadoran federation should find a loophole that will allow them to make void the 5-0 beating they received from Mexico on Sunday or be awarded some of the points they lost.
“We’ll wait and see what happens with CONCACAF,” said Israel after El Salvador’s 1-1 draw against Costa Rica on Thursday. "Surely my federation will put the pressure on if it’s confirmed."
“It’s unfortunate that things like that happened when we put forth our best physical and spiritual effort on the pitch,” he added. “It would upset me to know that we were at a disadvantage from a sporting point of view.”
The Cuscatlecos head coach said that the topic of doping is a delicate matter, as it touches on the morality of the players. But it affects the entire team, not just those players implicated in the matter, he added.
“It’s a very delicate issue,” Israel said. “It’s something the entire national team is involved in. … We also did a very strict control of banned substances with our players because we’re tremendously responsible and ethical ahead of what is an international tournament. If someone would have violated that ethical norm, I think that it’s not only about the players [involved], but also encompasses the national team as a whole.”
El Salvador will await the official decision from CONCACAF before deciding how to proceed.