The International Golf Federation has retroactively disqualified Switzerland's Mathias Eggenberger from the 2016 World Amateur Team Championship over a positive PED sample traced back to his ingestion of contaminated meat.
Eggenberger's sample showed low levels of clenbuterol, a growth stimulant that falls under the IGF Anti-Doping Policy. Eggenberger's individual scores from the September event in Mexico were thrown out, and Switzerland's team score was adjusted to reflect his disqualification.
Clenbuterol is known to increase muscle growth and decrease fat, and is still used on livestock in some countries. The IGF had warned athletes as early as 2011 that meat in China and Mexico may be contaminated with the substance, and that they should "exercise extreme caution" when eating meat in either country.
The IGF investigated Eggenberger's "eating patterns" and found that he "ate only at restaurants where he was instructed to eat." That led to a "no fault or negligence" judgment but did not absolve Eggenberger from disqualification.
"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," read an IGF statement.
Eggenberger told Golf.com that he "cannot really add anything" to the IGF's published findings.
"During the World Team Championship in Mexico a doping test showed a minimal contamination with clenbuterol," Eggenberger said. "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."