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The buck stops here: FIFA bans N. Korea women from World Cup for deer gland doping

Aug 25, 2011, 5:29 PM EDT

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northkoreawomen AP

Sepp Blatter and the FIFA overlords took time out today from trying to figure out how to air-condition Qatar to hand down a huge decision: They banned the North Korea women’s team from the 2015 World Cup. The crime? Deer gland doping … just as preducted by Walt Disney in the film Bambi.

FIFA banned North Korea from the 2015 Women’s World Cup after five players tested positive for steroids from traditional musk deer gland therapy at the tournament last month.

Jong Pok Sim, Hong Myong Hui, Ho Un Byol and Ri Un Hyang were suspended from all soccer-related activity for 18 months, while Song Jong Sun was ineligible for 14 months, FIFA said.

North Korea’s soccer federation was fined $400,000, and team doctor Nam Jong Ae was banned for six years.

The fine “exactly corresponds to the prize money the association would have received for their 13th place in the final ranking of the Women’s World Cup in Germany,” FIFA said.

For good measure, FIFA also banned Colombia’s backup goalkeeper, Yineth Varon, for two years, also for doping.

Deer gland doping is a relatively new phenomenon in sports. It involves the traditional Chinese remedy derived from the musk deer, in which glands are split open to extract secretions for medical use.

But the great part is the reason that the North Koreans participated in the doping. It was, they say, because the team was hit by lightning just prior to playing the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup.

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North Korea Banned From 2015 Women’s World Cup For Deer Gland Doping [Huffington Post]
N. Korea women out of World Cup for deer gland doping [USA Today]