Brazilian coach bans players from drinking coca tea

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has issued a warning to his players ahead of the Copa America: No coca tea.

Arequipa:

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has issued a warning to his players ahead of the Copa America: No coca tea. The World Cup champion plays its first round games of the South American championship in the thin air of this southern Peruvian city at 2,390 metres. But Parreira has asked his players to avoid the common liquid remedy used by many travellers to alleviate the effects of altitude change. "We don't want any problems," he told the Lima-based sports daily Libero. "We're very familiar with the medical benefits of coca tea, but we're not including it in our diet." Herbal teas brewed with coca leaves - the base ingredient in cocaine - are popular in Andean countries. But several South American players in recent months have failed drug tests after drinking the tea. Bolivian defender Miguel Angel Rimba and striker Sebastian Eguren of Uruguay's Nacional have recently tested positive, blaming the results on coca tea. Brazil's tournament-opening match is against Chile on Thursday in Group C. (AP)

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