Pan Am officials warn on clenbuterol

GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Pan American Games officials are warning athletes to avoid eating on the street because of the fear of ingesting meats contaminated with clenbuterol.

The warning came Wednesday, the same day that the World Anti-Doping Agency acknowledged there was "compelling evidence" the country has a "serious health problem" with meat containing clenbuterol.

Mexico's national government has said it has been unable to control some farmers from giving steroids to livestock, which is illegal.

"It's indispensable that, upon arriving in the country, athletes begin eating only food obtained in dining areas provided in the athletes' village by games organizers," national and state health officials said in a statement.

Health officials also advised athletes against taking any medicine used to treat breathing difficulties, some of which "can contain clenbuterol in various concentrations."

Five Mexican soccer players tested positive earlier this year for clenbuterol.

WADA said Wednesday it had dropped its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, where it had planned to challenge the Mexican Football Federation's decision clearing the players of doping.

Pan American Games organizing committee director Carlos Andrade Garin has guaranteed the safety of meat in the athletes village.

"It is meat that is 100 percent reliable," Andrade Garin said. "We know where it has come from and we have no doubts. The meat has been analyzed and is being watched by police to avoid any chance of contamination."