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Two North Korean footballers test positive for steroids

The Local · 7 Jul 2011, 14:36

Published: 07 Jul 2011 14:36 GMT+02:00

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The pair were removed from the lineup for North Korea's goalless draw with Colombia in Bochum on Wednesday, but after the Group C game, the remaining 19 players in the squad were all tested by the sport's governing body FIFA.

"This is a unique event at the World Cup, but if there are two positive samples in a team it means we have to investigate," said Dr. Jiri Dvorak, FIFA's chief medical officer. "This is a very sad day."

The pair have been provisionally suspended and their B samples have been sent for testing by FIFA.

According to news agency SID, the North Korean team left Germany early on Thursday morning having been eliminated after the group stages.

Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Federation (DFB) was scathing in his criticism of the North Koreans.

"This incident underlines the impression of the inhumane system in North Korea where attempts are made to give athletes success by any means possible," he said. "Success which can then be used for government propaganda."

But Zwanziger acknowledged FIFA's testing methods are catching athletes who use steroids.

"It is a positive that FIFA'S testing procedures seem to be working in the fight against doping," he said.

The two North Korean players were tested after the first two games against the United States and Sweden.

Story continues below…

Their samples were examined at the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Kreischa, east Germany, and then at the German Sport University in Cologne.

In total, there have now been three failed doping tests at the World Cup after Colombian player Yineth Varon failed an out-of-competition test in in Leverkusen on 25 June.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:04 July 7, 2011 by The skeptic expat
I am sure the dictatorship will come up with some lame excuse on this. Like how they lost because the team was struck with lightening and should not have even been playing. Sure he will say they ate contaminated food.
16:53 July 7, 2011 by german-guardian
The mongol team of North Korea, their women look like guys, and they are all on steroids.
21:29 July 7, 2011 by wood artist
Actually @thesekpticexpat, it's a well-documented fact (at least in North Korean medical circles) that a lightening strike can stimulate the body to produce hormones that will mimic the presence of steroids. Clearly that's the case here, because we all know that North Korea is a pure society where the use of illegal or performance-enhancing drugs would never be tolerated.

22:40 July 7, 2011 by finanzdoktor
@wood artist: Please, don't give the DPRK coach any ideas for an excuse. Of course, he might need some help, upon his return to DPRK and explaining their dismal performance. Guess Dear Leader, Kim Chong-il didn't send advice via satellite cell phone, as he did when the DPRK men's soccer team was playing. Too bad, then their performance would probably had been worse.
02:22 July 8, 2011 by wood artist

Yeah, I'm thinkin' this might not be a bad time to apply for asylum. Wasn't it the Iranian team that got...erm...punished...back a few years ago? Tolerance for failure in the public arena isn't really a known commodity in some places.

08:00 July 8, 2011 by german-guardian
@ wood artist

You talk about they should seek asylum, first of all they are happy in their own country. Second of all they can seek asylum to china, south korea, or Japan. that might work for them better culturally. They will end up happier.
08:39 July 8, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Man, some people here have no sense of humor!
11:37 July 8, 2011 by Joe Wutbürger
I'm shocked and surprised! Who would have thought it? Actually I think I did see one with 5 o- clock shadow.
15:09 July 8, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
I dont see why North Koreans are recognised as a country. They shouldnt be allowed in the world cup at all. then this wouldnt even be a problem.
15:24 July 8, 2011 by Englishted
Hey Professor,

North Koreans are not recognised as a country ,Koreans are a people, North Korea is a country .It has been in the mens world cup before with no problem.

Plus it gives the U.S.A. a chance to beat them.
15:53 July 8, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
haha lol true that. good remark. I think you knew what I meant. but i will give this one to you. score Englishten 1 History Proffessor 0
16:22 July 8, 2011 by finanzdoktor
@german-guardian: Have you confused North Korea for South Korea? How could they be happy there? Especially if they are forced to train during a lightning storm and to take steroids. Not to mention, the expected punishment upon returning and failing to win a single game (remember what happened to their Men's Soccer coach?).
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