Houston’s Duane Brown nearly paid a huge price for consuming 10 burgers and two steaks in Mexico. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)

Travelers from the U.S. to Mexico have been advised of water unsafe to drink, and now the NFL is warning its players about eating meat south of the border as well as in the most populated country on earth. In a memo issued jointly by the league and its union, players were cautioned that some meat produced by Mexico and China could trigger a positive result for performance-enhancing drugs.

The substance in this case is clenbuterol, an anabolic substance banned by the NFL, as well as other sports bodies. It is also banned by the FDA for use with animals meant for human consumption, but, of course, that only applies to U.S. meat-producers.

“Consuming large quantities of meat while visiting [Mexico and China] may result in a positive test for clenbuterol in violation of the [NFL] Policy [on Performance-Enhancing Substances],” the letter to players read. It was shared on social media by the likes of Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith and Cardinals corner back Patrick Peterson.


Duane Brown found out about the dangers of Mexican meat the hard way. Following a trip to Baja, Calif. during Houston’s November bye week last season, the Texans’ offensive lineman tested positive for clenbuterol.

With one PED violation already on his NFL record, Brown was set to be hit with a 10-game suspension as a repeat offender before the union helped him file an appeal. According to ESPN, he was able to produce receipts showing that he had consumed about 10 hamburgers and two steaks while in Baja, and he was eventually cleared.

As it happens, the Texans will play a regular-season game this November in Mexico City against the Raiders. Brown will no doubt be eager to warn his teammates to stay away from the red meat.