HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans players are being advised by the team not to leave the hotel and not to order room service during their trip to Mexico City for Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
The game is part of the NFL’s international series and the first NFL game in Mexico City since 2005.
The Associated Press obtained a memo distributed to the team on Wednesday that included a page of information concerning the trip to Mexico, including those two rules.
A section of the memo under the heading "safety" had a bullet point with: "DO NOT leave the hotel." It was followed by a line advising players to leave all "expensive jewelry at home," not to bring large sums of money and not to use ATMs.
A second section titled "health and performance" has basic tips like drinking only bottled water and avoiding the consumption of ice. It also warned: "Eat all meals in the meal room. DO NOT order room service" and "DO NOT eat outside of the team meal room."
The precautions the Texans have provided players are not uncommon for any foreigners traveling to Mexico. Executives visiting the city for business are often given the same warnings from their companies to avoid leaving their hotels without security.
The rule about room service could be related to a memo the NFL sent to its players earlier this year warning that some meat produced in China and Mexico may be contaminated with clenbuterol, a banned steroid. That memo, sent by the league office, said that consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those countries may result in a positive test for clenbuterol. The memo told the players to "please take caution if you decide to consume meat, and understand that you do so at your own risk."
Clenbuterol has been banned in Mexico as a growth enhancer for cattle but is suspected to still be in use there.
The Raiders did not receive such a memo, but several players said they would not eat room service while in Mexico.
"I always bring my own food anyway," Oakland defensive tackle Dan Williams said. "I’m on a strict diet so I have to watch what I eat. No room service for me. I can’t afford to sneak and cheat."