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altOctober 13 - Guadalajara have declared that they are still ready to host the 2011 Pan American Games on schedule despite the tail end of Hurricane Jova battering Mexico's Pacific Coast and producing heavy rain around some of the key sporting venues that will be used for the competition.

The 2011 Pan American Games are due to begin tomorrow with over 6,000 athletes from 41 nations set to compete across 36 sports but the vicious storm - which has already killed four people - means that portions of the Opening Ceremony at the 50,000 capacity Omnilife Stadium may have to be shortened.

The heavy rain on Mexico's West Coast has caused flooding in some parts and might also delay training sessions for triathlon, sailing and beach volleyball, all three of which will be held in the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta.

It is a problem that organisers certainly didn't need after their race against time to get all the venues complete for what is the second biggest multisport event on the planet behind the Olympics.

altSuch were the delays in constructions to the venues that the Telmex Athletics Stadium (pictured), which will host the track and field competitions, was only completed at the beginning of this week.

And further fears have emerged for athletes competing at the event with the news that the illegal steroid clenbuterol could be found in Mexico's meat supply.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a statement advising athletes travelling to Mexico to "exercise extreme caution with regards to what they eat and where they eat".

The advice came in the same statement in which WADA announced it had withdrawn its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding a decision not to sanction five Mexican footballers who tested positive for clenbuterol earlier this year.

Mexican football authorities said they believed the players ate meat contaminated with the banned drug, and WADA has now accepted that research "indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol".

Carlos Andrade Garin, director of Guadalajara 2011, offered assurances that the food available in the athletes at Games venues would be free of the steroid.

"It is meat that is 100 per cent reliable," he said.

"We know where it has come from and we have no doubts.

"The meat has been analysed and is being watched by police to avoid any chance of contamination."

In addition, Guadalajara city officials have offered assurances regarding the city's restaurants.

The Organising Committee have also promised that security is a top priority for the competition.

altThey are pumping $10 million (£6.35 million/€7.3 million) into a plan that calls for 10,000 municipal state and federal police, as well as elements from the Mexican army and navy, to patrol Guadalajara's streets 24 hours per day during the Games.

The Games are expected to provide relief from the daily reports of mass killings and kidnappings in Mexico, a country savaged by drug-related violence that has killed more than 35,000 people since late 2006.

The competition could generate a windfall of $2.7 billion (£1.72 billion/€1.97 billion) and attract over one million visitors but much depends on guaranteeing security for Mexico's biggest international event since the 1986 World Cup.


By Tom Degun