Friday, July 8, 2011

North Koreans Fail Drug Test at World Cup and Await Fate at Home

The North Korean team knows no boundaries when it comes to trying to pick up a win at the women's World Cup.  Two defenders, Song Jong Sun and Jong Pok Sim, were suspended for Wednesday's match against Columbia after testing positive for banned substances

Both players tested positive after North Korea's first two group games.

It hasn't been a very good time for the two players.  Last week the team claimed they were struck by lightning and now, they face the wrath of their people and Kim Jong-il.

North Korea was eliminated from the World Cup without scoring a goal.  Besides a 2-0 loss to the U.S., the North Koreans lost 1-0 to Sweden before the 0-0 draw with Columbia.

In an unprecedented move, the remaining 19 members of the North Korean team were subjected to a doping test according to FIFA.  The banned substance was not identified by FIFA.

Theo Zwanginger, president of the German Football federation (DFB), was harsh in his criticism of the North Korean squad.

"This incident underlies the impression of the inhumane system in North Korea, where attempts are made to give success to athletes by any means," he said.  "Success which can be used for government propaganda."

The testing of the team was coordinated with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which states "whenever more than one member of a team has been notified of a anti-doping rule violation, the ruling body for the competition shall conduct appropriate target testing of the team."

Last week, after the loss to the U.S. squad, North Korea manager, Kwang Min Kim, blamed the defeat on a lighting strike to a group of his players in North Korea.

"During training, our players were hit by lightning and more than five of them were hospitalized," he said.  "The goalkeeper and four defenders were most affected."

Kim strategically waited until after the loss to lay blame on Mother Nature.  There was no way to verify the weather conditions in the Fatherland during the alleged incident.

The team hastily flew out of Germany Thursday morning, but who knows what fate awaits the team when they return to North Korea.

Last year, after the North Korean men's team was outscored 12-0 at the World Cup, the players were forced onto a stage at the People's Palace of Culture and shamed in front of 400 journalists and students during a "six-hour barrage of criticism"  as penance for their presumed less-than-world-class play.

These poor women are probably looking at lightning striking once again.

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