OK, I'm all for integrity in amateur sports, especially when it comes to accepting money or performance enhancing drugs.
But a decision announced by the International Golf Federation to retroactively disqualify Swiss golfer Mathias Eggenberger from the World Amateur Team Championship because he ate meat containing a banned substance (clenbuterol) is puzzling, to say the least. How could he possibly have had any control over the matter, especially since he only ate where the organizers advised him to?
The substance in question, clenbuterol is believed to be a powerful performance-enhancer used by athletes to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. It has also been known to be used for livestock growth.
Eggenberger talked to Golf.com, and offered some clarification on the issue.
“I cannot really add anything to the publication of the IGF,” Eggenberger told Golf.com. “During the World Team Championship in Mexico a doping test showed a minimal contamination with clenbuterol. In Mexico clenbuterol is still used in animal breeding. As other athletes have been tested positive in Mexico in the past on this substance, it became evident that this was also the reason in my case.”
Eggenberger has since turned pro.
Here is the official statement from the IGF in regards to the decision to DQ golfer Mathias Eggenberger (currently ranked No.
"In a case concerning the ingestion by a player of meat containing low levels of clenbuterol, The International Golf Federation (IGF) announced that Mathias Eggenberger was found in violation of Section 2.1.1 of the 2016 IGF Anti-Doping Policy (“Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Player’s Sample”).
Under Section 2.1.1 of the Policy, the mere presence of clenbuterol in a player’s body, even absent fault or negligence and regardless of the reason, constitutes a violation.
After conducting an investigation of Mr. Eggenberger’s eating patterns while in Mexico, and after receiving Mr. Eggenberger’s lab results that revealed low levels of clenbuterol, which low levels were consistent with the ingestion of contaminated meat products, and after further finding that while attending a competition in Mexico Mr. Eggenberger ate only at restaurants where he was instructed to eat, the IGF concluded that the case was one of “No Fault or Negligence” under Section 10.4 of the Policy. Mr. Eggenberger acknowledged the lab reports and willingly entered into an agreement of sanctions and consequences under Section 7.10.1 of the Policy.
Mr. Eggenberger’s individual competition results from the 2016 World Amateur Team Championships will be disqualified; and his team’s scores will therefore be adjusted to account for his disqualification. Mr. Eggenberger’s provisional suspension ended on January 12, 2017. The matter is therefore closed and the IGF will have no further comments on the sanction."