Sun Jul 17 01:56am EDT
When North Korea's failed Women's World Cup team claimed (only after their opening match loss to the U.S.) that several members of the squad were struck by lightning mere weeks before the tournament, I don't think anyone could have predicted that the tale would grow even more fantastical long after their elimination. Well, it has.
Five players tested positive for steroids during the tournament and North Korea's defense is that the players accidentally took the steroids along with traditional musk deer gland medicine to treat them after the lightning strike. And no, they aren't joking.
From the AP:
"This is a shock," Blatter said at a news conference. "We are confronted with a very, very bad case of doping and it hurts."
A North Korean delegation told Blatter and the head of FIFA's medical committee on Saturday that the steroids were accidentally taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on the deer glands.
"The North Korean officials said they didn't use it to improve performance. They said they had a serious lightning accident with several players injured and they gave it as therapy," said Michel D'Hooghe, chief of FIFA's medical committee. "It is not systemic, because not all of the players took it. We would have found it with the others too."
The case will be taken up by FIFA's disciplinary committee. Players face a ban of up to two years.
Blaming a loss on "more than five" players getting struck by lightning and then blaming positive drug tests on steroids that accidentally snuck into five players' deer gland medicine for that lightning strike is enough to make you dizzy and stop asking questions. So, in a way, this is genius.