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North Korea Banned From 2015 Women's World Cup For Deer Gland Doping

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NORTH KOREA FIFA
AP

ZURICH -- 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.

FIFA on Thursday imposed bans of up to 18 months on all five players, who North Korean officials said were treated with traditional therapy after being struck by lightning at a pre-tournament training camp.

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.

Defenders Song and Jong failed drugs tests before the World Cup game against Colombia. FIFA then tested the entire North Korean team after its final match.

FIFA's disciplinary panel also banned Colombia backup goalkeeper Yineth Varon for two years for doping at the tournament.

The doping case was the most serious at a major FIFA tournament in 17 years.

In July, FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak said after extensive testing, "we can really say with far-reaching confidence that these steroids were the result of this so-callled Chinese traditional medicine."

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