Weather Updates

Failed drug test? Must be the meat

Mexican goalie Guillermo Ocho(right) says his positive drug test was result eating bad meat.  |  BrandWade~AP

Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa (right) says his positive drug test was the result of eating bad meat. | Brandon Wade~AP

storyidforme: 13522525
tmspicid: 4675640
fileheaderid: 2335135

Updated: August 3, 2011 7:14PM

Listen up!

Just when you thought it was safe to go to Taco Bell, Denny’s or even five-star Le Meurice in Paris, Mexican soccer goalie Guillermo Ochoa says to beware.

Ochoa and four of his Gold Cup teammates just tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol, and it came from dining out, Ochoa said.

‘‘These are things that could happen in any restaurant, in any location,’’ he told the media.

It’s the beef, explained Hector Inarritu, Mexico’s team director. Or maybe the chicken. Just like the beef that Tour de France champion Alberto Contador said made him test positive for clenbuterol last July.

Mexico, Spain, North America, Europe — contaminated meat is apparently everywhere!

So if your quads suddenly start to bulge and your testicles to shrivel, don’t blame dealings with Meathead and his satchel down at the gym. Blame meat.

And stay out of restaurants!

◆ BY THE WAY, the Mexican government said Friday its beef doesn’t contain clenbuterol.

So if you’re in Charlotte, N.C., where El Tri just beat Cuba, be especially vigilant.

Further alert: Mexico plays Costa Rica today at Soldier Field. Could the contaminated beef be following the team? Were there ’roids in our Happy Meals all along? You might want to go vegan, soccer fans, or just not eat at all.

◆ MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL says he wants Chicago to be the ‘‘bike-friendliest city’’ in the United States, and that is wonderful news. The only fuel bikes burn is belly fat.

But there must be sworn allegiance to true ‘‘bike lanes,’’ which means cars — and opening car doors — are nowhere near the cyclists.

And then Emanuel needs to do something about November, December, January, February, March and April. And May, occasionally.

◆ CHICAGO ALSO SEEMS dedicated to sort of cleaning up the open cesspool known as the Chicago River, a stream of water that once ran into Lake Michigan but now runs the other way because of the necessity of dyeing it green every St. Patrick’s Day.

The original Mayor Daley had a dream of making the river clean enough so that a person could enjoy a ‘‘bottle a beer’’ and fish in it without fear of landing a mutant.

Of course, the Environmental Protection Agency is goosing the city along to the tune of fines and penalties to come. It’s kind of funny, when you consider all the feds are trying to do is get Chicago to comply with the Clean Water Act of 1972. What’s 39 years here or there?

But I can say that Chicago with a fresh river (it is mandated that you visit an emergency room if you fall into the current gut bucket) and a real riverfront (where people could walk freely) would launch this city into the realm of the unique.

I have been to San Antonio many times and marvel at how that bland burg has milked its Riverwalk for far more than it’s worth.

The ‘‘walk’’ lasts for about a half-mile along a narrow, winding cement trough filled with darkly mysterious runoff. The restaurants along the expanse are very nice, as are the jewelry shops, and the lights are pretty. But ‘‘river’’?

I saw a drunk fall in one night. He stood up in the brackish fluid midstream, and the water was just above his knees.

So here’s to fishing in the Chicago River and strolling its banks — without decontamination suits.

◆ HATS OFF to Sandburg distance runner Lukas Verzbicas.

The kid has been on TV, running with international stars, but this past season he posted the best U.S. high school times for 1,500 meters, the mile, 3,200 meters and two miles. On Saturday, he won the Boys Dream Mile in New York in
3 minutes, 59.71 seconds.

Hope you never grow up, bud!

◆ WANT SOME INDICATION that steroids aren’t as prevalent in the major leagues? Scores are way down, home runs are down and — this is interesting — there are more extra-inning games than usual.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were 110 extra-inning games through June 8 of this season, 15 more than ever before by that date.

Another crazy thing is that in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 19-inning game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 25, Phillies infielder Wilson Valdez picked up the victory. He was the first player to start a game in the field, then become the winning pitcher since Babe Ruth did it in 1921.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.