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FIFA: Doping not a problem in football

August 3, 2013
By ESPN staff

 

FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak says he is confident that there is no “doping culture in football”.

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While the likes of athletics and cycling have suffered high-profile drug cases in recent times, football has remained relatively unscathed.

The sport has seen incidents such as Diego Maradona’s positive test for ephedrine in the 1994 World Cup, as well the case of several Italian-based players being hit with a ban for doping in the early 2000s.

However, there has not been anything on the same scale since, and Dvorak believes that is because there is not much doping happening in football.

"I am confident that there is no systematic doping in football," he told FIFA's official website. "There is no systematic doping culture in football. I am confident of this.

"Of course there are individual cases, for sure. We do more than 30,000 sampling procedures every year and we have between 70 to 90 positive cases, most of them for marijuana and cocaine and we have also anabolic steroids, but these are individual cases."

FIFA launched biological profiling in February, similar to the biological passport that was introduced in cycling. It was tested at the Confederations Cup and will be used at next year's World Cup.

Dvorak says FIFA is trying to get other organisations on board so a wider range of players can be registered.

"And now we are also in discussion with UEFA and other confederations to start this biological profile in the confederations so all the top players will be registered," he said. "And if we have a suspicion then we go into the more intelligent and targeted testing."

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