The World Anti-Doping Agency has once again warned athletes heading to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to “exercise extreme caution” when eating meat products in China, due to a high likelihood of it being contaminated with banned substances. A Wada spokesperson outlined that athletes only “eat at places given the all-clear by event organisers”, as first reported in Inside the Games. Wada said meat in China has been known to contain low levels of the steroid clenbuterol, which would produce a positive test result as a PED (performance-enhancing drug) . Clenbuterol has come into the news in recent years as multiple athletes have tested positive for the banned substance – from mixed martial arts fighters to CrossFit athletes – which Wada classifies as an “anabolic agent”. In 2011, Wada released a statement clarifying that “there is no threshold under which this substance is not prohibited”. However, they also admitted “it is possible that under certain circumstances the presence of a low level of clenbuterol in an athlete sample can be the result of food contamination”. Medical News Today explains that clenbuterol stimulates the heart and central nervous system, similar to epinephrine and amphetamines. It is still approved for humans in some countries, however it is a banned substance in the United States. Clenbuterol is also illegal to use in animals in both the US and European Union, while Wada also issued a special report detailing specific warnings about consuming meat that has come from either China or Mexico. Beijing 2022: will China improve upon 9 medals from Pyeongchang? The statement from Wada comes on the heels of the German National Anti-Doping Agency warning its athletes to avoid Chinese meat at all costs and find alternatives while in China. Wada clarified that athletes who are eating their meals within the Athletes’ Village will be fine as the food is properly sourced. Eating tainted meat should not be a huge issue for athletes in Beijing as they will not be able to get outside of the Games’ highly publicised “closed-loop management system”, meaning going to restaurants not within the Olympic bubble won’t be possible. In 2016, the Chinese Swimming Association issued a warning to two swimmers who tested positive for clenbuterol, and that same year a Post report found tainted pork had been sold to 27 retailers across Hong Kong. Multiple studies have discovered that clenbuterol has a number of beneficial effects on rats, which includes improved cardiovascular effects, increased skeletal mass and recovery time from surgery. Wada further clarified that the onus falls on Olympic organisers for Beijing 2022. Cases involving contaminated meat often involve “very low levels” of clenbuterol, the Wada spokesperson also clarified.